Strict rules to be in place for Portsmouth e-scooter trial to avoid 'wild west' situation

THOROUGH rules for a rental electric scooter trial in the city will be imposed to prevent an ‘e-scooter wild west’ situation.

By Fiona Callingham
Friday, 18th September 2020, 5:07 pm
Updated Friday, 18th September 2020, 6:11 pm
Concerns have been raised about 'dangerous' used of illegal private e-scooters in Portsmouth. Pictured: A boy on an e-scooter in August 2020 captured near Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth.

During a virtual meeting today Portsmouth City Council's traffic and transport boss, Councillor Lynne Stagg, agreed to press on with developing an e-scooter hire scheme for next spring.

As part of the system docking stations for the scooters would be located around the city with use limited to those over the age of 17. Restrictions on speed and which roads can be used would also be in place.

Read More

Read More
E-scooter hire trial to launch in Portsmouth next year

Sign up to our daily newsletter

An e-scooter hire trial will launch in Portsmouth next year. Photo by THOMAS KIENZLE/AFP via Getty Images.

Speaking at the meeting Cllr Stagg said: 'I am pleased to give this the go ahead. It will reduce the number of cars on the road and improve congestion and air quality.'

However, concerns were raised about the use of e-scooters due to use of private scooters around the city - which are currently illegal.

Tory spokesman Cllr Simon Bosher said: 'We don't want a sort of e-scooter wild west. We are going to have to get something that is fit for purpose.

'I was almost taken out by one in Drayton going by me at a rate of knots that then almost took out a lady with a walker.'

Cllr Graham Heaney, from the Labour group, added: 'I think I am a bit more sceptical about this.

'We can set rules but if they don't abide by them there's not much we can do.'

The council is currently in talks with 15 e-scooter operators that could run the scheme.

Cllr Stagg said that all concerns would be addressed. 'I have a list of concerns,' she said.

'I have seen some horrendous incidents with e-scooters on Copnor Road, how no-one has been killed I don't know. Users will have to be 17 years old, they will have to sign a contract and they will be fined or banned if they break the rules.

'We will have a long list of requirements that we work out with the operator. For example we've got to think about lights on the scooters at night and in the dark.'

Solent Transport has been working with the Department for Transport to allow for the reallocation of £900,000 from other schemes to pay for e-scooter schemes across Portsmouth, the Isle of Wight, Winchester and Southampton.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

Thank you for reading this story. The dramatic events of 2020 are having a major impact on our advertisers and thus our revenues.

The News is more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription to support our journalism. You can subscribe here for unlimited access to Portsmouth news and information online.

Every subscription helps us continue providing trusted, local journalism and campaign on your behalf for our city.