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E-scooters could be 'part of post-car picture' in Islington - but need urgent regulation, says Green Party transport spokesperson

PUBLISHED: 13:42 19 July 2019 | UPDATED: 13:47 19 July 2019

A stock photo of a person riding an electric scooter in central London. Picture: PA

A stock photo of a person riding an electric scooter in central London. Picture: PA

PA Wire/PA Images

The Green Party transport spokesperson believes electric scooters are "potentially part of the post-car picture" - but argues they urgently need to be regulated first.

A stock photo of a person riding an electric scooter in central London. Picture: PAA stock photo of a person riding an electric scooter in central London. Picture: PA

Islington's sole Green councillor, Caroline Russell of Highbury East, has spoken out after the first reported death of an e-scooter rider in the UK in Battersea on Friday last week.

That was followed by a hit-and-run collision between a moped rider and man on a scooter in Rosebery Avenue, Finsbury, on Saturday.

The Rosebery Avenue scooter rider was taken to hospital but his injuries weren't "life-threatening or life-changing".

It's currently illegal to ride e-scooters in public, but the increasing numbers of riders gliding about in London's streets has started a debate about whether they could be permitted in future.

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Cllr Russell told the Gazette: "Scooters are potentially part of the post-car picture but recent crashes show just why we need healthy streets with safe conditions for walking cycling and even scooting.

"There's an urgent need for some regulation. At the moment, because scooters are illegal there are no limits on speeds and that can mean scooter riders pose a threat to people walking and cycling.

"We need the law to catch up with these developments if scooters are going to play a proper part in getting people around safely."

Sadiq Khan and TfL are collaborating on a healthy streets strategy, which encourages more people to walk, cycle and use public transport to improve air quality and ease congestion.

Islington's environment and transport chief, Cllr Claudia Webbe said: "I'm not arguing for them to be legalised at this point in time. There has been no demand in Islington for them to be legalised as far as I can tell. I wouldn't encourage anybody to ride them on a public highway or pavement if they are not legal. I personally have seen a lot of people riding them in European capitals, where they are quit popular."

The mayor of London's walking and cycling commissioner Will Norman said: "New regulations must be put forward quickly - they are currently not safe; with no restrictions on speeds, no mandatory brakes and lights, and no rules on who can ride them and where."

It is the Department for Transport that will determine whether and how e-scooters become legal in the UK.

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