Visually impaired woman left ‘frightened’ after tripping over e-scooter in Nottingham | Central Leave a comment

A visually impaired woman says she was left frightened after tripping over an electric scooter in Nottingham.

Rachael Pereira says she suffered bruising after falling over an e-scooter left in the middle of the pavement.

“It makes me feel really very anxious that actually the place where it’s supposed to be safe for me to walk is now no longer safe anymore.”

Nottingham is one of a few cities currently trialling the government-approved e-scooters as an alternative form of transport.

But Ms Pereira says their use needs to be more closely monitored.

My very first encounter I was very nearly hit by one, and it was so frightening just to have it whizz by me and I didn’t know where I was. I thought I’d walked onto the road. It was quite a frightening situation.

Rachael Pereira

The electric scooters were introduced to Nottingham last October as part of a trial scheme to encourage the use of alternatives to cars and public transport.

The rules state they should only be used on the roads, but Rachael Pereira says they are illegally being ridden on pavements.

Nottingham City Council has more than 200 electric scooters, available for both short-term and long-term hire. Credit: Nottingham City Council

Under the trial, designated parking bays have been marked out across the city for users to collect & leave the e-scooters.

But ITV News filming found many are abandoned on the streets, creating a potential trip hazard.

With lockdown restrictions easing, the fear is this could deter people with visual impairments from venturing outside.

The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association says more needs to be done to police their use.

The city council says the e-scooters are fitted with a bell, & restricted to a top speed of 5mph in the city centre.

It says it’s also met with local disability groups to hear any concerns, and is continuing to review any safety risks.

Both the City Council and scheme operator Wind Mobility met with the local Disability Involvement Group to understand concerns and worked to ensure the necessary safety measures are in place. However, we’re continuing to review safety risks regularly. The e-scooters are speed-restricted, and in the city centre cannot travel faster than 5mph. In addition, all e-scooters are fitted with a bell, which we would encourage riders to use when they will be passing close by a pedestrian or other road user, as you would on a bike.

Councillor Adele Williams, Portfolio Holder for Transport at Nottingham City Council

The scooter operators, Wind Mobility, told ITV News it’s tripling its penalty fee for bad parking, and will be employing patrollers to identify anyone caught pavement riding, or riding or parking their e-scooter irresponsibly. 

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