Number of e-scooter injuries in London surges, new figures show

4 March 2022, 11:40 | Updated: 4 March 2022, 11:47

E-scooters have increased in popularity in recent years - but the number of accidentals has also increased
E-scooters have increased in popularity in recent years - but the number of accidentals has also increased. Picture: Alamy

By Daisy Stephens

More than 100 people were seriously injured riding e-scooters in London last year, as new figures show the number of casualties has increased dramatically in the last four years.

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A total of 98 people were badly hurt in 2021, figures from Transport for London (TfL) show - and three people were killed.

The figures show the number of casualties has increased significantly, with just one injury reported in 2017.

Injuries from e-scooter usage now account for three per cent of all people seriously injured or killed on the capital's roads.

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E-scooters have been available to hire on London's streets since June 2021, when the year-long trial started.

Operators Lime, Dott and Tier offer rental in some London boroughs, in a scheme organised in conjunction with TfL and London Councils.

It was hoped the use of e-scooters would reduce car usage and keep air cleaner.

You must be over 18 and complete a mandatory in-app training course before renting an e-scooter. But the number of accidents has still increased in recent years.

In April last year, a three-year-old boy suffered serious injuries after being hit from behind by an e-scooter, while walking on the pavement with his grandmother in west London.

And in July 2019 YouTube star and TV presenter Emily Hartridge became the first person in the UK to be killed while riding an e-scooter.

She was struck by a lorry in Battersea, south London.

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In December 2021 e-scooters were banned from all TfL public transport networks after one caught fire on a packed Tube train.

The ban means people are not even allowed to carry them on all TfL trains and buses.

Charity Guide Dogs have raised concerns about the safety of e-scooter usage around blind people.

But when the trial was announced last year, Alan Clarke, director of policy at Lime, said rental e-scooters in London were "as safe as possible".

"The safety standards are really, really high and that contrasts starkly with private e-scooters, which don't have to pass any standards at all in order to be put onto the street, because by definition they're already illegal," he said.

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"I think people are going to really notice that and we certainly expect people to look at the scooters that we're putting and see how much safer those are."

The scooters have a maximum speed of 12.5mph, which is below the 15.5mph limit set by the Department for Transport.

Other features which go beyond national guidelines include front and rear lights which are always be on throughout a rental and an audible warning system that can be used without the rider adjusting their grip of the handlebar.