'Dangerous' Portsdown Hill roads removed from Portsmouth e-scooters trial area after crash

A ‘DANGEROUS’ road where an e-scooter was involved in a crash with a motorbike has been removed from a list of areas where the vehicles can travel.

Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 12:54 pm

Jack Martin, 17, was involved in one of two crashes involving e-scooters rented from Voi on the first day of the trial on March 16.

The Portchester teenager was riding his motorcycle in convoy with a friend on the 40mph Portsdown Hill Road when he collided with a helmet-less e-scooter rider who the teenager said, without warning, suddenly turned off to his right.

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Jack Martin (17) from Porchester, was involved in a road traffic collision with an e-scooter along Portsdown Hill on March 16. Picture: Sarah Standing (260321-5502)

Voi has now confirmed that Portsdown Hill Road, James Callaghan Drive and Southwick Hill Road - all on Portsdown Hill - have been removed from areas the scooters can travel.

Andy Martin, Jack’s dad, said: ‘It’s a positive thing they have removed those roads. The scooters should not have been allowed there in the first place, especially on a 40mph road.

‘The cut off point should be at Cosham. The young lad who was riding the scooter didn’t know where he was and was in shock after the crash.

‘There will be a serious accident and then what will Voi do? It will cost them thousands of pounds.’

Update on E-scooter trial on 29 March 2021. Pictured: People riding e-scooters in Southsea, Portsmouth. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Discussions were still taking place over liability for the accident but Andy said Voi had not been in touch with Jack, who was okay but whose bike was damaged.

Councillor Graham Heaney, the Labour traffic spokesman, previosuly called for Portsdown Hill to be removed from the trial area.

‘I’m pleased it’s been removed as it was more dangerous than the 30mph roads the e-scooters are usually allowed,’ he said.

A spokeswoman for Voi confirmed the changes and said ‘regular’ reviews take place with Portsmouth City Council. The authority commissioned the trial.

The incident took place earlier this afternoon. Picture: Trevor Goodman

‘The review takes into account all usage information as well as feedback from key stakeholders,’ she said. ‘Recently this has included adding a “no-ride zone” to a few roads, including Portsdown Hill.’

E-scooters that go outside of the allowed areas will see their speed gradually reduced down to a walking pace speed of 3mph.

Meanwhile, complaints of ‘discrimination’ were raised by a person not allowed to rent a scooter with a paper licence.

The snubbed potential customer said: ‘We emailed them about it, and they told us that they aren't accepting any paper documents before 1999. So (they are) excluding anyone of the older generation with the paper licences.’

Voi said said its partner Onfido carries out ID verification but could not accept paper.

‘We are always looking at new ways to make our service more inclusive and accessible for all,’ Voi said.

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