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‘A very real threat’: RNIB Chair Eleanor Southwood gives evidence on e-scooters in Parliament

Eleanor Southwood has told the Transport Select Committee that RNIB considers e-scooters a very real threat to the safety and independence of blind and partially sighted people.

RNIB Chair Eleanor Southwood.

Highlighting key issues including the 15mph speed limit, the lack of sound, safe parking of rental e-scooters, and pavement riding, Eleanor Southwood told the Transport Select Committee:

"It's really clear that even with all of the safeguards… we do consider e-scooters to be a real and genuine threat to the ability of blind and partially sighted people to move around independently and safely."

Thanks to those of you who completed our recent travel and transport survey, we have lots of evidence about blind and partially sighted people’s worries and concerns about e-scooters which we’ve been able to share with the Government, and it’s because you shared your views with us that Ellie was invited to speak to MPs.

What other work have we been doing on e-scooters?

We’ve also shared our concerns with the Department for Transport in meetings with civil servants and through their consultation.

Our Chief Executive Matt Stringer has written to Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps and Minister of State for Transport Chris Heaton-Harris, to outline our concerns about e-scooter trials and the safety of blind and partially sighted people.

Meanwhile we’ve been speaking to councils across the country about the effects these schemes could have, and have caught up with Bath, Leicester and the West Midlands to highlight some of our key issues. If you hear that a scheme is happening near you – please let your Regional Campaigns Officer know.