E-scooters

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  • Was in Paris on Tuesday where Lime (I think) operate a e-scooter rental service, the locals that I spoke to only had negative things to say about them.

    I think the problem here is that they're a completely different thing to a bike and even an e-bike purely in the way that they are operated. The ability to twist the handlebar/press a button and be up to speed at a swift acceleration moves them into a different category. Remember, an e-bike can only peddle assist, so there is an action of effort still from the rider.

    Some of these scooters are capable of of going 90km/h (https://dualtron.uk/products/dualtron-th­under) at a weight of 43kg, for me that is certainly something that needs to be regulated.

  • I think that depends on the individual scooter, if it is twist and go you can possibly change speeds.

    I do know that some that a button press operation do have an screen on them where you can change the power level, unsure of how on the fly you can do this though.

  • I agree, London and other cities are in desperate need of alternative methods of transport but just don't have the infrastructure yet. Cycling has got where it is because you don't need specific infrastructure whereas things like scooters don't have the speed or size to be mixing with cars. Cycling has its downsides, mainly locking up in unsafe places but also turning up somewhere sweaty.

    Wouldn't it be nice if you could travel a few miles across central London in the middle of summer without arriving dripping with sweat, carrying a heavy lock or worrying about your nice bike locked up on Oxford Street. Electric assist bikes and scooters, per-use hire schemes and dedicated mixed use lanes could all be solutions.

    The main problem I see with electric scooters and the like at the moment is they don't fit well on the roads or the pavements, in my opinion we really do need dedicated mixed use lanes. Think Embankment but wider and without the mad speed bumps. But then in an ideal world I don't think we should have cars in at least the congestion zone at all apart from before 8am or after 6pm anyway.

  • Think its fair to say that anything going 90km/h of course needs to be regulated. The vast, overwhelming majority of e-scooters don't go anywhere near that speed and go about as fast as a bike

  • This thread is amazing. Surprised to see that people are knee jerking against these with much the same arguments as you get against bikes and increased bike infrastructure.

    They are the future and there's no reason at all that they can't coexist on the roads along with bikes and have the same status. Calling for them to be licensed and for extensive training before you go near one is equivalent to calling for all bikes to have numberplates.

    I agree with this person, not the whingers.

  • Something needs to be done about the accidents these things are causing at least

  • Call me a nimby or boomer but even something that goes at bicycle speed with the press of a button doesn't sit too well with me.

  • couldn't the same thing be said about bicycle accidents?

  • It's a widespread misconception (and carefully nurtured by the promotion of them) that small(er) motorised vehicles replace motorised trips by larger motorised vehicles. Instead, they complement those other forms of motorisation. I repeat my contention that the vast majority of trips they replace/change are walking trips, secondly cycle trips, and thirdly trips by public transport. The effect on private motoring will be completely negligible. As I said, I'd love to be proved wrong on that (the evidence base is obviously not huge yet), but I don't think I will be. This is not new--smaller (cheaper) motorised vehicles, whether 'small cars' or motorbikes, etc., have always increased access to motorisation, ownership, and consequently the need to travel, as everybody is then expected to easily be able to travel further than before. (In terms of land use planning, delocalisation and concentration of trip targets is always caused by motorisation becoming available. This is just another instalment in that same tradition, this time filling in more gaps, e.g. replacing the walking trip of, say, 700m, to the station, and again at the other end, e.g. getting from a Central London terminal to the office 500m away.)

    The negative effect on safety of even slight motorisation (of e-bikes, not even delimited ones, just the ones that can be got up to the standard speed allowed under European legislation) is very well documented. In the Netherlands, which has seen the greatest upsurge in e-bike sales relative to the size of the market, e-bike use has been a key contributor to a considerable increase in serious injuries and fatalities. Many of these have been to elderly people, one of the key groups of adopters, but they have by no means been limited to them. Simply put, as I've said before, most people can't control a two-wheeler reliably at speeds they wouldn't be able to accelerate a non-motorised bicycle to. It takes years of practice, and a lot of riding, to be able to do that.

    You may feel perfectly comfortable doing it because you've played a lot of polo and so have excellent bike control, but you're not representative of the people who mostly ride e-scooters. Perhaps compulsory polo for everyone would take care of it. :) Also, what the European hire schemes have so far shown is far from a rosy picture of the success of such schemes. There are the same stories as we've had of the private bike hire schemes of scooters being dumped everywhere. Other problems are that, so far, the scooters are basically crap quality and don't have a long life. The longest any have apparently been in use as hire vehicles is about a year. Also, they don't have exchangeable batteries, so can't be serviced on the spot but (like the e-bikes you currently see everywhere in London) have to be transported away to be recharged--it wouldn't be enough to install hire stations that automatically charge them (in fairness, they do have a large range on one charge because they're so light). Plus the other two main points I mentioned above, that they're mainly replacing trips that were previously walked or cycled, and that everywhere they have been used so far the crash record has been very poor, with a large unknown factor, as many crashes aren't recorded in official crash stats (people just crash without the involvement of another party and just go to hospital).

    Anyway, there'll be a lot more evidence coming out in the next few years; as I said earlier, it may mainly be early adoption pains, although I don't think so.

  • No. Scooter crash records so far are far worse than bike crashes. As I implied in the long post above, they're very comparable to e-bike crashes, although early indications are that they're even worse than those.

  • They are the future

    What, like Segways were? Hah.

    These things are super niche and super shite.

  • I can't wait for a Lipo battery fire on a packed commuter train. That's going to be amazing.

  • I'd love to zip around on one of these in a tshirt during the summer but I agree it should be regulated. I do have a motorcycle licence so would personally be quite happy if they were treated in a similar manner to mopeds but the number of others who would be ok with this I imagine are few.

  • Might that be partly because they are a fledgling technology and people aren't as used to them as they are with bikes?
    That could mean a number of things:

    • riders aren't used to them so aren't as safe as cyclists
    • other road users aren't as used to them
    • some of the kit isn't that reliable
    • as it is relatively niche, enthusiasts are a larger percentage of users and therefore more likely to mod them to go ridiculous speeds

    It doesn't necessarily mean that they are inherently dangerous or considerably more dangerous than bikes, just that they might need more time to develop as a useful alternative urban mode of transport

  • Might that be partly because they are a fledgling technology and people aren't as used to them as they are with bikes?

    Well, that's why I'm allowing for what I call 'early adoption pains'.

    It doesn't necessarily mean that they are inherently dangerous or considerably more dangerous than bikes

    I certainly wouldn't say 'necessarily'. This is the real world, so claiming modal necessity for any empirical assertion about it is probably not going to work. :)

    As I said, it's simply based on experience (now running nearly into its third decade) with mass electric bike use in European cities. While I don't believe (yet) that scooters will gain the same kind of traction, I think the two phenomena are roughly comparable. Early indications certainly suggests that it's a good comparison.

  • Tories are gonna Tory;

    https://t.co/A4GrRKaM7D?amp=1

  • A proper Tory policy would be anyone caught riding one - in fact anyone not driving a car - would receive a swift beating.

  • I Mostly love them. When I walk further than I expect, happens more often than you’d think it’s an easy, quick cheap way home.

    Do I hate seeing 75 outside a monument? Yes.

  • So if they don’t have a motor and you need to push , do we still not like them ?
    Because they’re not that different if pushing from a skateboard , and I love them , we all do , don’t we ?
    But I don’t love a scooter ... not sure why , maybe it’s the degree of talent needed to look good or go fast .
    Tbh if rare Italian steel framed bikes were left in unkempt piles around monuments and stations it would irritate like litter

  • Oh dear, that's bad news. I guess all that corporate lobbying has paid off. The wrong decision.

  • Here's another article, featuring views from 'experts', including the usual nonsense certain charities spout:

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/f­eb/02/e-scooters-fears-pubic-safety-cris­is-road-approval-uk

    Some of the figures already in show clearly that other countries should rethink their permissive attitude pronto. This will become more obvious as the evidence base becomes broader.

    Note the excellent URL. I doubt anyone's proposing to legalise their use in pubs, though. :)

  • “* Chris Uff, a neurosurgeon at the Royal London Hospital, said his team had treated four patients last summer with “fairly severe head injuries, either after coming off e-scooters or being hit by people on them”.

    He said helmets were essential.*”

    Helmets for the peds that get hit by the scooterers?

  • All those people who think helmets are the way to make people safer on scooters need a c.uff 'round the head.

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E-scooters

Posted by Avatar for Oliver Schick @Oliver Schick

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