Your views on e-scooters in Horsham: 'menace to pedestrians' or 'really good idea'

Are e-scooters the future of cheap and environmentally friendly transport for our town, or just too dangerous?

Wednesday, 15th September 2021, 8:34 am
Updated Wednesday, 15th September 2021, 8:52 am

We asked you the question and it divided our readers, with many citing experiences of seeing the vehicles used in a dangerous way on our pavements and in pedestrian areas, of being hurt or narrowly avoiding injury.

But many others saw the potential for them as a simple and affordable way to get around the town or to work.

The only e-scooters that are currently legal to use on public roads in the UK are those rented as part of government-backed trials in a handful of places including parts of London and Portsmouth, although they are widely available for sale.

E-scooters can only legally be driven on private land in Sussex

Sussex Police have issued advice on using the vehicles, reminding people that they can only be driven on private land in the county, with penalty notices given where people are caught driving them without a licence or insurance.

Commenting on our Facebook page, reader Kevin Dawson was worried about the riders he had seen with 'glazed expressions while they zip about', adding: "It's worrying that many just don't even acknowledge other pavement users let alone give way to them! Rather than ban them though, perhaps a fair and fairly safe compromise would be given them the same legal status as electric vehicles for the disabled. That's a 4mph speed limit on the pavement and a maximum of 8mph on the road. But road use requires lights, brakes, indicators etc."

Charlotte Freeman said: "Unfortunately these have a stigma attached to them as they haven’t been introduced to society in the right way. They are too dangerous - silent and too fast. A danger to the person riding them and pedestrians (especially elderly and visually impaired). It is time a zero tolerance approach to these is adopted before someone gets seriously hurt."

Jim Vallance was also concerned. He said: " A menace to pedestrians... Most people using them have no road sense at all.. GET OUT OF MY WAY I'M COMING THROUGH. There is another valid point as well and that is more and more young people are using these instead of using their legs and getting much needed exercise... Just another reason to become lazy or lazier."

Nicky Budgen said: "Ban them. I nearly got hit by one a few weeks ago in west street. The things are driven go far too fast."

Cantarella Simona agreed, adding: "Not on roads or even on pavements."

And Mark Hook said the riders were 'irresponsible' and said: "Ban, ban, ban again."

But many were in favour.

Daniel Aldis called for the scooters to be legalised in the same way as electric bikes, with a maximum speed and wattage. "Simple. I see a lot of people suggesting insurance and licence but if that's the case, then push bikes and ebikes should be the same."

Sue Hutchins was up for giving e-scooters a go: "I can just see me popping to the shop on one. Are we allowed to use them in shops if not then I will need my crutches or walking sticks strapped to my back. But then how would I put my shopping I have to also use a rucksack as well in order to use the crutches. So do you think this could be for a 70-year-old who can not drive on the roads anymore. It will be interesting to see if they would be the future for super grannies."

Alex Gilbert said: "In Prague they have e-scooters dotted around everywhere and there’s an app you can download in order to rent them, all the tourists use them off all ages as well, it’s a great way to get about, I really don’t see this issue with them. Especially when you get elderly people that are deaf or can barely see come zooming past on them mobility scooters, which also hold up traffic if used on the road whereas the e-scooters don’t as they're so small. If they where legalised you would see a lot more people out about as it would assist in some people who struggle to walk."

⁠Karen Merriner saw a future for the vehicles, saying: "I think it would be a good idea. But used on mostly on cycle lanes where available."

Nelly Nuck called for them to be legalised because 'they are deemed ok and good for the environment'. She said: "They are no more dangerous then teens going down the high street on their bikes on their back wheel. No different to people. Driving cars dangerously. Or scooters or bikes used dangerously?"

Alan Arnold agreed, saying: "Legalise. They work fine in many European cities, cheap to run, reduce traffic Etc. Need to embrace the future, not ban it."

And Neill Woodhall said: "Really good idea, anything battery power is good."

Laura du Vergier said: "In the Isle of Wight you can hire them and scoot around anywhere you like, Same system as the bikes in Brighton…so why not!?"

Peter Merchant added: "Lots of things are dangerous that we use but we still use them. Great transport for people that work in town and short commutes."

And Kenny Duke commented: "Yes or I'm going to use my high carbon emissions 5.3L V12 Jaguar with no catalytic converters to pop to the shop and grab some milk."

What do you think? Email your views for publication to us at [email protected]