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: