Author Topic: e-scooter trial  (Read 3047 times)

Kim

  • Timelord
e-scooter trial
« on: July 01, 2020, 04:50:29 pm »
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?
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: e-scooter trial
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 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.

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.

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

  • feat. Undead Jess & Finestre, Queen of Hell
Re: e-scooter trial
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2020, 05:13:43 pm »
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.
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Kim

  • Timelord
Re: e-scooter trial
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2020, 05:17:55 pm »
The blind community (not entirely unreasonably) seem to be against EVs in general (including cars and motorcycles) from the little I've seen.

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.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: e-scooter trial
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2020, 05:21:46 pm »
The blind community (not entirely unreasonably) seem to be against EVs in general (including cars and motorcycles) from the little I've seen.
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.
Fully in agreement.

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

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.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: e-scooter trial
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2020, 05:32:05 pm »
It seems that what they're creating is a commercial opportunity while leaving the electric scooters that people are already riding technically illegal. Perhaps there'll be some instruction to police to crack down on them, probably issued via the medium of interpretative journalism. But we know how effective that's going to be.
Days become simply the spaces between dreams, spaces between the shifting floors of time...

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: e-scooter trial
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2020, 05:52:13 pm »

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'm not. The problem is not that dockless hire, it's that there really is fuck all cycle parking for most people, and most places. If streets had proper places to park bikes, it would be much less of a problem.

The dockless bikes here were at least maintained to a reasonable level which is more than can be said for most of the bikes round here.

Dockless bikes aren't the problem, poor bike infrastructure is.

j
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: e-scooter trial
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2020, 05:57:10 pm »
If streets had proper places to park bikes

...they'd be full of bikes (in varying states of decomposition).

This is the UK.  Docks for hire bikes are more realistically achievable that a proliferation of decent cycle parking.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: e-scooter trial
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2020, 05:58:17 pm »
If streets had proper places to park bikes

...they'd be full of bikes (in varying states of decomposition).

This is the UK.  Docks for hire bikes are more realistically achievable that a proliferation of decent cycle parking.

It never ceases to amaze me how UK cycle infrastructure aims are so damn low...

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: e-scooter trial
« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2020, 06:03:54 pm »
It does work though.  Some UK cities have hire schemes where the official docks are just branded Sheffield stands.  No bikes  getting kicked over by oiks and blocking disabled pavement-users; no having to persuade the council to provide actually good levels of cycle parking everywhere people might actually want to go; hire bikes available in consistent places.

(Plus, when the hire scheme goes bust, they can be de-branded and become cycle parking.)

Meanwhile, Birmingham conspicuously lacks a hire scheme, because the complexity of a full Boris Bike style dock system seems to be beyond the capabilities of a series of lowest-bidders.  (Presumably we lack a dockless scheme because the people who run them paid attention to the "More miles of canal than Venice" line in all the tourist propaganda.)
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: e-scooter trial
« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2020, 06:04:26 pm »
If a driving licence is required for an e-scooter, presumably that means you can get points on it for offences committed?

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: e-scooter trial
« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2020, 06:07:03 pm »
The dockless hire bikes in Bristol changed their rules a couple of years back to say you had to leave them at proper cycle parking. I think this was in response to both complaints about litter-biking and incidences of theft.

Back to the scooters, if they legalised people's own scooters, on similar lines to the existing EAPC legislation, people would lock them up properly (or try to) cos they're personal property.
Days become simply the spaces between dreams, spaces between the shifting floors of time...

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: e-scooter trial
« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2020, 06:08:28 pm »
If a driving licence is required for an e-scooter, presumably that means you can get points on it for offences committed?

I expect so.

I believe you can get points on your licence for some offences whatever the means of transportation (eg. going equipped for car theft).
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: e-scooter trial
« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2020, 06:10:41 pm »
Also, when are they going to turn their legislative eyes to the electric monowheels, skateboards and so on? As with e-scooters, these vehicles are here on the roads right now. Mostly, no one cares that they're illegal, least of all the police (here anyway). A general "lightweight electric personal vehicle" law could cover them all with the present speed, power and weight limits applicable to EAPC. Much better than getting into a faff and writing new legislation each time technology moves on.
Days become simply the spaces between dreams, spaces between the shifting floors of time...

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: e-scooter trial
« Reply #14 on: July 01, 2020, 06:11:21 pm »
Back to the scooters, if they legalised people's own scooters, on similar lines to the existing EAPC legislation, people would lock them up properly (or try to) cos they're personal property.

From observation, they tend to get folded up and taken inside at the destination, inna Brompton style (they're probably lighter and certainly less awkward than a folded Brompton).  You occasionally see one outside a newsagent or takeaway, but then people regularly abandon their BSOs and BMXes without security in the same circumstances.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: e-scooter trial
« Reply #15 on: July 01, 2020, 06:12:32 pm »
Also, when are they going to turn their legislative eyes to the electric monowheels, skateboards and so on? As with e-scooters, these vehicles are here on the roads right now. Mostly, no one cares that they're illegal, least of all the police (here anyway). A general "lightweight electric personal vehicle" law could cover them all with the present speed, power and weight limits applicable to EAPC. Much better than getting into a faff and writing new legislation each time technology moves on.

I view this trial as a step towards that.

Being a hire scheme provides a level of accountability.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: e-scooter trial
« Reply #16 on: July 01, 2020, 06:19:01 pm »
Also, when are they going to turn their legislative eyes to the electric monowheels, skateboards and so on? As with e-scooters, these vehicles are here on the roads right now. Mostly, no one cares that they're illegal, least of all the police (here anyway). A general "lightweight electric personal vehicle" law could cover them all with the present speed, power and weight limits applicable to EAPC. Much better than getting into a faff and writing new legislation each time technology moves on.

I view this trial as a step towards that.

Being a hire scheme provides a level of accountability.
Possibly. Hopefully. In which case, I wonder if they'll keep the 500W motor and 55kg – useful for hire schemes to ensure vehicles don't flat out on hirers but not necessary for personal use charging overnight or at work – or go back to something like 250W and say 25kg?
Days become simply the spaces between dreams, spaces between the shifting floors of time...

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: e-scooter trial
« Reply #17 on: July 01, 2020, 06:22:13 pm »
Back to the scooters, if they legalised people's own scooters, on similar lines to the existing EAPC legislation, people would lock them up properly (or try to) cos they're personal property.

From observation, they tend to get folded up and taken inside at the destination, inna Brompton style (they're probably lighter and certainly less awkward than a folded Brompton).  You occasionally see one outside a newsagent or takeaway, but then people regularly abandon their BSOs and BMXes without security in the same circumstances.
Which raises the question of what is the most socially beneficial option for Colin Commuter, the one we should legislatively encourage:
a) Personal e-scooter stored under desk
b) E-bike locked up at Sheffield stand
c) Hired e-scooter left at dock?

The answer of course is d) Hire-purchased SUV left half on the kerb.
Days become simply the spaces between dreams, spaces between the shifting floors of time...

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: e-scooter trial
« Reply #18 on: July 01, 2020, 06:31:37 pm »
Also, when are they going to turn their legislative eyes to the electric monowheels, skateboards and so on? As with e-scooters, these vehicles are here on the roads right now. Mostly, no one cares that they're illegal, least of all the police (here anyway). A general "lightweight electric personal vehicle" law could cover them all with the present speed, power and weight limits applicable to EAPC. Much better than getting into a faff and writing new legislation each time technology moves on.

I view this trial as a step towards that.

Being a hire scheme provides a level of accountability.
Possibly. Hopefully. In which case, I wonder if they'll keep the 500W motor and 55kg – useful for hire schemes to ensure vehicles don't flat out on hirers but not necessary for personal use charging overnight or at work

500W/55kg/driving licence seems reasonable if it's a de-facto motorbike, rather than one of these skateboard-with-handlebar things.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: e-scooter trial
« Reply #19 on: July 01, 2020, 06:59:08 pm »
500W/55kg/driving licence seems reasonable if it's a de-facto motorbike, rather than one of these skateboard-with-handlebar things.

I don't think any actual primary legislation has been passed by the commons or lords. So they've had to do this within the framework of what we already have.

It doesn't fit as a pedal cycle, so it has to be classes as a motorbike/moped etc... So what can they do within that framework? well it will need insurance, we can either ask everyone to get that, or if we limit it to hire units, the hire company sorts the insurance, base covered. But it's still essentially a variant of motor bike, so gonna need some sort of license, oh look provisional or full driving license covers that.

Oh, and lets throw a power/weight limit in cos we can.

Boom, all done without any primary legislation, just by modifying a few bits of paperwork that don't need voting on.

Solution solved at layer 10.

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: e-scooter trial
« Reply #20 on: July 01, 2020, 07:39:41 pm »
The further thought occurs that if the machines are of a more tangibly motorbikey aesthetic, that might reduce the pavement use.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: e-scooter trial
« Reply #21 on: July 01, 2020, 07:50:47 pm »
... one of these skateboard-with-handlebar things.

A friend has one of those and laughs at the speed limit, telling me that the speed is controlled (or limited) by software and there are hacks available to release the limitations so that they can go quite a bit faster.

Karla

  • car(e) free
    • Lost Byway - around the world by bike
Re: e-scooter trial
« Reply #22 on: July 01, 2020, 08:03:10 pm »
500W/55kg/driving licence seems reasonable if it's a de-facto motorbike, rather than one of these skateboard-with-handlebar things.

I don't think any actual primary legislation has been passed by the commons or lords. So they've had to do this within the framework of what we already have.

It doesn't fit as a pedal cycle, so it has to be classes as a motorbike/moped etc... So what can they do within that framework? well it will need insurance, we can either ask everyone to get that, or if we limit it to hire units, the hire company sorts the insurance, base covered. But it's still essentially a variant of motor bike, so gonna need some sort of license, oh look provisional or full driving license covers that.

Oh, and lets throw a power/weight limit in cos we can.

Boom, all done without any primary legislation, just by modifying a few bits of paperwork that don't need voting on.

Solution solved at layer 10.

J

Eh?  Your driving license hasn't covered you for any form of motorbike since ... [googles] ... 2001.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: e-scooter trial
« Reply #23 on: July 01, 2020, 08:43:18 pm »


Eh?  Your driving license hasn't covered you for any form of motorbike since ... [googles] ... 2001.

So I need a separate provisional license for a moped now ?


J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Karla

  • car(e) free
    • Lost Byway - around the world by bike
Re: e-scooter trial
« Reply #24 on: July 01, 2020, 08:48:30 pm »


Eh?  Your driving license hasn't covered you for any form of motorbike since ... [googles] ... 2001.

So I need a separate provisional license for a moped now ?

J
If you passed your test since Feb 2001 then yes, and you need to do a CBT first, which will take a day and cost about £120-150.