M5 traffic: E-scooter rider spotted motorway going the wrong way in rush hour Leave a comment

An e-scooter rider was spotted cruising the wrong way along the M5 motorway during morning rush hour.

A witness called police reporting that a man was riding one of the electric scooters in a southbound direction along the northbound slip road, at Junction 22 for Burnham-on-Sea in Somerset.

The caller suggested he could have been on his way to get help, as she also noticed a lorry nearby that appeared to have broken down on the hard shoulder.

Despite it being illegal to ride an e-scooter on public roads – let alone on the motorway – enforcement action was not taken as authorities did not manage to track him down.

It happened during rush hour on a Monday morning in March, and was mentioned in part of a recently published freedom of information disclosure from Avon and Somerset Police.

The force revealed that between December and March, it recorded 475 incidents involving e-scooters.

This included crimes where the suspect was riding an e-scooter, thefts of e-scooters, and collisions involving e-scooters that have been reported to police.

In Bristol alone there were 237 cases, including 51 that were categorised as antisocial behaviour, six as pavement riding and 13 for poor riding.

Almost all of the cases force-wide related to privately-owned scooters, as opposed to the ongoing trials in Bristol, South Gloucestershire, Bath and several other locations in Somerset.

One of the incidents was listed on the log as ‘poor riding’, with the location recorded as ‘M5 motorway’.

Police have now confirmed details of this particular case, which happened on Monday, March 15 at about 8.40am.

A spokesperson said: “We received a report about a man on an e-scooter riding the wrong way down the northbound slip of Junction 22 of the M5 (the Burnham junction).

“Highways England conducted an area search for the rider but were unable to locate them.”

It is understood that the woman who notified police also reported seeing a lorry stopped on the hard shoulder, just off the slip road.

She suggested that the person riding the e-scooter was possibly the lorry driver on his way to try to get help or fuel, although police were unable to confirm this theory as he could not be found.

It is still illegal to ride an e-scooter on public land like roads and pavements, with the exception of the official e-scooter trials that are ongoing in certain parts of the country.

The only places people are legally allowed to ride privately-owned e-scooters currently is on private land, when the landowner has given permission.

This ban applies on all public roads – not least the motorway, where there are additional rules on road use.

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Who is allowed on the motorway?

The Highway Code also prohibits other road users including cyclists, horse riders and mobility scooters from venturing onto a motorway.

Rule 253 states: “Motorways MUST NOT be used by pedestrians, holders of provisional motorcycle or car licences, riders of motorcycles under 50 cc, cyclists, horse riders, certain slow-moving vehicles and those carrying oversized loads (except by special permission), agricultural vehicles, and powered wheelchairs/powered mobility scooters.”

Last month Deliveroo confirmed it was investigating, after a picture appearing to show one of its riders cycling along the M32 in Bristol.

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