This week (Monday 13 July) Middlesbrough has become the first area to launch a trial e-scooter rental scheme in the UK. We have serious concerns about the impact these vehicles could have on the safety, confidence and independence of blind and partially sighted people, so we want to gather information on the impact of these trial schemes.
If you’re blind or partially sighted, and have encountered an e-scooter in a rental trial area, we want to hear from you. We’ll use this information to make sure politicians, local decision-makers and e-scooter manufacturers know about the impact of these trials. It will also help us put together guidance on essential safety requirements these schemes need to meet.
As the Middlesbrough trial scheme begins, we met with Government Ministers Rachel Maclean and Chris Heaton Harris at the Department for Transport (DfT), to outline our concerns.
This follows our Chair Eleanor Southwood giving evidence to the Transport Committee in Parliament and our work raising our concerns and recommendations, in consultations by the Government and in Parliament.
Local councils need to be approved by the DfT to run a trial e-scooter rental scheme. We’ll also be speaking to those councils about the effects these schemes could have.
If you need assistance to share your experience of e-scooters, you can contact the RNIB Policy and Campaigns Team at [email protected], or by calling 0207 391 2123.