Walking and e-scooters

A trial of the use of e-scooters has been taking place in the WECA region, including Bristol, since October 2020. The trial is likely to be extended until at least March 2022. BWA is part of an equalities stakeholder group that participates regularly in meetings organised by WECA to provide feedback on the trial.

While observing the progress of the e-scooter trial to date, BWA has formed an initial opinion on its impact, particularly on pedestrians. For example, there have been examples of e-scooters being ridden on pavements as well as obstructions caused by the parking of e-scooters on pavements. These behaviours create an injury hazard, and increase apprehension of going out, especially for those with mobility or visual impairments.

Our position is that e-scooters and pedestrians could co-exist without causing problems if some basic principles were followed, as summarised here:

  • We welcome new forms of transport that might encourage less congestion and pollution on our roads, and see e-scooters as a potentially positive addition to the transport mix.
  • Pavements should only be used by pedestrians and wheeled devices that are restricted to walking pace; e-scooters, like cycles, should only be used on roads and cycle tracks.
  • Shared space should be avoided, with infrastructure designed so it is clear where e-scooters and cyclists can and cannot go, ideally kerb separated from pedestrians as described in Cycle Infrastructure Design (LTN 1/20).
  • E-scooter parking should never be permitted to cause obstruction on footways, or require crossing the footway to gain access.
  • E-scooter misuse (relating to riding, parking, and anti-social behaviour) should be easy to report, and appropriate action taken.

The next BWA public meeting takes place online on Thursday 14th October 2021 at 7.30pm and will consider the question: “Walking and e-scooting in Bristol: Can we share the future?”.

For further details, and to book your place, use the following Eventbrite link:

3 thoughts on “Walking and e-scooters”

  1. I completely agree with the Bristol Walking Alliance on this issue. In fact, I’ve been pushing the Council to make changes to Voi eScooter parking for some time, including fixed, parking infrastructure and repurposing car parking spaces for eScooters to get them off the pavement, as other cities have done. The Council has supported my suggestions but I have yet to see any changes to the Bristol trial. Must we wait until there is a serious accident before the Council takes action?

  2. Please let me know if there are any updates to the issues raised above a year ago. I walk to and from work between Totterdown and Bedminster, and it’s not an overstatement to say I’ve come to live in fear of e.scooters.
    They are silent, often ridden by large young men wearing earphones who seem quite oblivious of anyone, and at speeds that I would judge up to 30mph on pavements and shared use paths. The overgrown embankment of the New Cut means I have to creep along like a rodent, hoping they will miss me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *