E-scooters 'are 100 times more dangerous than bicycles'

E-scooters ‘are 100 times more dangerous than bicycles’, admit transport chiefs – as trials for the vehicles begin in London next month

  • Transport for London study found riders need hospital treatment every 3.1 years
  • More than 200 injuries to e-scooter riders recorded in London in past two years 
  • Campaigners believe the true figure is higher, and called for more restrictions  

Electric scooter trials will begin in London next month – despite an admission by transport chiefs that they could be 100 times more dangerous than bicycles.

The 12-month rental scheme starts on June 7, but a study by Transport for London (TfL), based on US data, found riders needed hospital treatment after accidents every 3.1 years on average, with many suffering head or neck injuries.

TfL said comparisons with the US were difficult, but the number of cyclists killed or seriously hurt in London was 2.7 per one million journeys ‘or roughly 100 times fewer injuries than expected in US e-scooter studies’.

More than 200 injuries to e-scooter riders have been recorded in London in the past two years, according to police, along with 39 incidents of pedestrians being hurt after being struck by an e-scooter. File photo 

It added: ‘Cycling in London would be considerably less risky than e-scooters if these figures were replicated here.’ 

More than 200 injuries to e-scooter riders have been recorded in London in the past two years, according to police, along with 39 incidents of pedestrians being hurt after being struck by an e-scooter.

Campaigners believe the true figure is higher, and called last night for the London pilot scheme, which follows 57 similar trials across the country, to be halted.

Sarah Gayton, street access campaign co-ordinator at the National Federation of the Blind, said: ‘It is absolutely shocking that TfL is launching yet more rentable e-scooter trials. 

‘It is very clear from other ongoing trials in the UK that there are inherent dangers to all pedestrians from how the e-scooters are being ridden. It is pure recklessness for the trials to start in London and we would ask TfL to withdraw from them.’

The scooters – provided by operators Dott, Lime and Tier – will be restricted to six boroughs in North London. They will be limited to 12.5mph, should only be ridden on the road, and riders will have to take an online safety course.

Police have backed the trial, but Matthew Scott, the Police and Crime Commissioner in Kent, said: ‘We’re in danger of… placing additional burdens on policing. Too many people are using them in places they shouldn’t.’

TfL said: ‘We’re determined to make sure London’s trial of rental e-scooters is safe and operators taking part meet the highest possible standards.’

Campaigners believe the true figure is higher, and called last night for the London pilot scheme, which follows 57 similar trials across the country, to be halted. File photo 

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