There were 258 collisions involving an e-scooter in London over the first six months of 2021, compared to just nine during the whole of 2018, according to new data from the Metropolitan Police.
Labour’s London Assembly Policing and Crime Spokesperson, Unmesh Desai AM, who obtained these figures from a written question to the Mayor of London, said that the illegal use of e-scooters is putting “Londoners at risk of significant harm” and urged people to stick to the designated rental trial.
It is currently illegal to use privately owned e-scooters on public roads and pavements. Between 2019 and 2020, the number of collisions shot up from 38 to 266, sparking a clamp down on the unlawful use of e-scooters by the police.
Met Police officers can seize illegal e-scooters from those riding them. To reclaim them, owners must visit a specified pound within a week and provide a range of documentation, including a driver’s license and motor insurance.
There is a removal charge of £150 and storage charge of £10 per day for two-wheeled vehicles, such as e-scooters. If a vehicle is not collected within a two-week window, it is disposed of free of charge.
According to the Met Police, 3,637 privately owned e-scooters were seized by officers between January and November 2021.
Londoners can only legally ride e-scooters under a rental trial scheme, which was launched by Transport for London (TfL) and London Councils last summer in selected boroughs. These boroughs now include Ealing, Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington & Chelsea, Richmond, Tower Hamlets, the City of London, Westminster, Southwark, Camden and the northern segment of Lambeth.
Last month, TfL took the step of banning privately owned e-scooters and e-unicycles on its services and premises due to fire safety concerns.
Desai AM, said: “The use of illegal e-scooters on our roads and pavements is putting Londoners at risk of significant harm- especially the most vulnerable in our communities such as people with limited mobility, visual impairments and hearing loss.
“Whilst it is concerning that these figures are likely to be just the tip of the iceberg, it has been encouraging to see the scale of enforcement action taken by TfL and the Met Police so far.
“My message to Londoners is that the only legal way to use an e-scooter in the capital is through the trial being run by TfL and London Councils in certain boroughs.
“Please stick to this trial so we can keep each other safe and to avoid getting your e-scooter confiscated and impounded by the police.”