Lawyer slams 'ridiculous' new legislation banning e-scooters on trains

1 June 2023, 13:40 | Updated: 1 June 2023, 15:17


By Georgina Greer

Tessa Laws, who represents Scootin, the first importer of e-scooters to the UK, says that she does not agree with the new regulations 'at all'.

Tessa Laws told Nick Ferrari she was "hugely disappointed" as a ban on e-scooters is implemented across the south-east of the UK.

E-scooters have been banned on Southeastern, Southern, Thameslink and Gatwick Express networks due to concerns about fire risks; with Southern Rail citing "limited regulation" over the lithium-ion battery used in the vehicles, which can cause fires should it malfunction.

Ms Laws said that e-scooters "should be part of our urban landscape, continuing, "They're clean, they give people an effective and cheap way of travelling, they are the future, and cars should be taken off the roads."

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Nick interrupted to question Ms Laws on e-scooter shaving caught fire.

Ms Laws responded: "If your scooter is a good scooter and you have invested in it, it is a vehicle and should be treated with respect by you as the rider...if you spend a thousand pounds on them, you will look after them and they won't catch alight."

Nick challenged her, saying: "Well the reality is we are where we are...and they are catching alight at the rate of six a week."

Ms Laws criticised the government in her response, saying that e-scooters "do not suit them": "They miss out on money from parking meters, congestion charges won't get's a ridiculous situation that we're in!"

She exclaimed: "Regulate them, regulate the people riding them, allow them on trains and allow people the freedom of movement!"

Nick questioned Ms Laws on her rationale: "You're saying it's all because of the cheap e-scooters, it makes not a blind bit of difference if I crash into a bus on one that's cost me two thousand pounds I'm still going to come off worse."

Ms Laws hit back: "I also said about regulation, I've said before people should have provisional driving licences, they should have some kind of certification to show they know how to ride as probably should have bicycles, they are vehicles."

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When challenged on that fact regulation has not been happening Ms Laws claimed it was because the government is "derelict."

To which Nick questioned: "You don't think that possibly the industry has been derelict...surely that's where the problem lies?"

He continued, asking how the police would know whether a scooter on the street meets proper regulations, to which Ms Laws asked why factories have not been raided to "take these things off the streets."

She went on: "They should've been regulated from the beginning, they should have allowed them on the roads, they should have allowed people to respect them, instead they have allowed people to abuse's really outrageous."

Finally, Nick asked: "Should we just ignore the fatalities and injuries?"

To which Ms Laws asked if he had compared them to figures concerning cyclists.

Nick exclaimed: "What difference does it make! Why don't we bring in electric pogo sticks and see how dangerous they might be?"

He concluded: "I'm trying to make the roads safer not almost a sort of Russian Roulette of bizarre forms of transportation."

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