E-scooter trial put on hold in Coventry five days after rollout
A 12-month trial of electric scooters was suspended for five days in the program due to people driving them on the sidewalks.
Coventry City Council raised safety concerns among gears that were being used in pedestrian areas – against guidelines.
Some residents also complained of being discarded throughout the city and of people going in the wrong direction.
The authority has decided to stay the trial as it examines how e-scooters can be used “appropriately”.
On Thursday, 200 electric scooters were deployed in Coventry and Birmingham, in the UK’s largest trial of its kind.
Sarah Gayton, an activist for the National Federation of the Blind, said she was relieved of the council’s action but wants e-scooters “to disappear from the UK”.
“I was absolutely shocked to see the riders go to the sidewalk, whiz around, go the wrong way, discarded scooters all over the city center,” she said.
‘Hell on two wheels’
Residents Emma Ward and Ricky Canley told the BBC they saw the e-scooters “abandoned absolutely everywhere”.
Ms Ward said more thought needs to be given to how people move around the city before she can work in Coventry, while Mr. Canley branded them as “hell on two wheels”.
Although some electric scooters can exceed 30 mph (48.3 km / h), those unveiled by Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) last week are limited to 15.5 mph (24.9 km / h).
TfWM said it is allowed on any road at 30 mph or less and a reduced speed limit of 5 mph in pedestrian areas.
In the early days of the trial, the authority said e-scooters, supplied by Swedish company Voi, were “extremely popular” with more than 5,000 rides in the city.
“The initial adoption was encouraging, but we need to ensure that the safety of all people using the city center is protected and e-scooters are used in the correct way, hence our decision to pause the rider until until the systems are improved “, added the spokesperson.
A spokesman for Voi said he regretted the decision to suspend service in Coventry, but the company “looks forward to resuming service with strengthened measures in place to address the first remarks of the process.”
The e-scooter trial is still operational in Birmingham and is expected to be rolled out elsewhere across the region in the coming months.
Follow BBC West Midlands on Facebook, Twitter is Instagram. Submit your story ideas to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Electric bicycles and scooters