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e-scooter trial

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Kim:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-53253194

The RNIB statement is unsurprising.  There's an awful lot of anti-cyclist sentiment in the blind community, and their objections to dockless hire schemes are perfectly reasonable.

Nevertheless, if we're going to permit pedal cycles, then 15mph is a reasonable speed limit for its electric equivalent.  I'm not in favour of solving the cycling/scootering on pavements problem by legislating them out of existence.

What baffles me is the power and weight limits.  Why not simply copy those for electric assist pedal cycles?  500W seems wholly unnecessary for something with the braking stability of a penny farthing.  I suppose some of that's to offset the effect of the massive battery they're obviously aiming for, which also seems unwise...   ???

Perhaps what we're going to see is more like a motor scooter, with a seat and proper brakes, rather than type shown in the illustration?

DuncanM:
The blind community (not entirely unreasonably) seem to be against EVs in general (including cars and motorcycles) from the little I've seen.

Gov't consultation paper here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/legalising-rental-e-scooter-trials-defining-e-scooters-and-rules-for-their-use/outcome/e-scooter-rental-trials-outcome-and-summary-of-responses

Essentially, they are running a trial, and rental companies can bid to be allowed to take part in the trial. They have to fulfil a bunch of criteria demonstrating stuff about insurance (3rd party mandatory), how they will encourage helmets, how they will register their users, how they will police the use and so on.

This is their definition of an e-scooter (note how it is officially a motor vehicle, so you need some sort of driving license (moped, motorcycle or car), and that's why you need the insurance):

--- Quote ---An e-scooter will continue to fall within the statutory definition of a motor vehicle. We will define the sub-category of an e-scooter as being a motor vehicle that:

is fitted with no motor other than an electric motor with a maximum continuous power rating of 500W and is not fitted with pedals that are capable of propelling the vehicle
is designed to carry no more than one person
has a maximum speed not exceeding 15.5 mph
has 2 wheels, 1 front and 1 rear, aligned along the direction of travel
has a mass including the battery, but excluding the rider, not exceeding 55kg
has means of directional control via the use of handlebars that are mechanically linked to the steered wheel
has means of controlling the speed via hand controls and a power control that defaults to the ‘off’ position
In addition, to achieve this, and in agreement with trial areas, we will issue vehicle orders under s44 and s63(5)–(7) of the Road Traffic Act 1988 for vehicles of particular operators assessed as being suitable to participate in trials.

E-scooters that already meet vehicle construction and approval requirements will also be able to be used in trials.

In this definition, after considering consultation responses, we decided to allow e-scooters to be used up to a maximum speed of 15.5mph. This matches the speed limit for EAPCs and geo-fencing technology could allow for greater flexibility for lower speeds, where appropriate, across trial areas.

We have also increased the permitted vehicle mass from 35kg to 55kg and removed from the original definition that an e-scooter should have ‘no provision for seating’ in order to allow seated variants to participate where they comply with our other requirements.

Finally, we introduced a maximum motor power – up from 350 to 500W.

--- End quote ---

It seems that people who own their own scooter will become legal if it is type approved and they can obtain 3rd party insurance. I wonder if there's scope there for a CUK type group to offer insurance by membership for a suitable low fee.

ian:
They do sometimes seem a tad overpowered. I've been chomping along at ramming speed down Walworth Road and had them zoom past. It's a bit incongruous seeing them overtaking, they're basically like a kid's scooter that's been fed a couple of doses of steroids. How dare they?

That said, I expect there's no evidence as to the dangers. I'll admit that left on pavements they would pose a trip hazard, and that scootists roaring along pavements is likely dangerous and unpleasant, but really you'd have to find a section of pavement that's not unoccupied by a car (moving or stationary). There seems to be a ironic blindness to the RNIB concerns at times.

(Personally, and I think the evidence supports me, I think anything that gets anyone out of cars, will reduce the damage, danger, and injuries – let's give people quick and easy ways to get around that don't involve the singular use of 3 tonnes of metal.)

ETA: probably I'm also misunderstanding what an e-scooter is.

Kim:

--- Quote from: DuncanM on 01 July, 2020, 05:07:53 pm ---The blind community (not entirely unreasonably) seem to be against EVs in general (including cars and motorcycles) from the little I've seen.

--- End quote ---

There are plenty of concerns with varying degrees of legitimacy (I'm in complete agreement about dockeless hire, shared use paths, shared space, shoddy use of tactile paving, poor treatment of cycleways at bus stops, etc.), but taken together they tend to add up to wanting the motorised status quo, which doesn't help anyone.

I get particularly frustrated with attempts to block the creation of quality cycle infrastructure, on the basis that they'd rather cyclists go away than behave more predictably and reduce the number of cars on the road.

And, as with other disabilities, little recognition of the blind people who cycle (or would if they could do so without risk from motorists or endangering pedestrians on the pavement).


Of course, the reason we're talking about the RNIB here is that they're probably the only organised group who would go on record to object to e-scooters in a reasonable-sounding way.

DuncanM:

--- Quote from: Kim on 01 July, 2020, 05:17:55 pm ---
--- Quote from: DuncanM on 01 July, 2020, 05:07:53 pm ---The blind community (not entirely unreasonably) seem to be against EVs in general (including cars and motorcycles) from the little I've seen.

--- End quote ---
There are plenty of concerns with varying degrees of legitimacy, but taken together they tend to add up to wanting the motorised status quo.
I get particularly frustrated with attempts to block the creation of quality cycle infrastructure, on the basis that they'd rather cyclists go away than behave more predictably and reduce the number of cars on the road.
And, as with other disabilities, little recognition of the blind people who cycle (or would if they could do so without risk from motorists or endangering pedestrians on the pavement).
Of course, the reason we're talking about the RNIB here is that they're probably the only organised group who would go on record to object to e-scooters in a reasonable-sounding way.

--- End quote ---
Fully in agreement.


--- Quote from: ian on 01 July, 2020, 05:13:43 pm ---ETA: probably I'm also misunderstanding what an e-scooter is.

--- End quote ---

I don't think so - a crazy hopped up kids toy sums it up quite well. :) It's something along the lines of this: https://www.pureelectric.com/products/xiaomi-m365-electric-scooter?variant=31657510600792&fo_c=3296&fo_k=fd9aa1996a2a3647bfcd0a2e17f1c82d&fo_s=gplauk&gclid=Cj0KCQjw6PD3BRDPARIsAN8pHuFFobduDVGGGZu-lOTqcokpcoPj6hqWt7VeQTJubhuzBsrwC4lPWFwaArnAEALw_wcB
Having read the small print, the warranty is voided if you ride it in the rain! ;) I guess the for-hire ones are a bit better sealed.

Interestingly, e-skateboards are explicitly excluded from this - you are only allowed 2 wheels and you have to have a handlebar mechanically connected to the front wheel.

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