E-scooters a 'fatal free-for-all' which 'ruin lives', says Tory Peer

22 July 2021, 17:20

By Tim Dodd

Tory Peer Lord Chris Holmes hits out at at the 'fatal free-for-all' of e-scooters which is 'ruining people's lives' as there have been four related deaths in the last four weeks.

It comes as police issue a fresh appeal for witnesses following the death of a man who fell from an e-scooter.

Alongside these tragic incidents, a three-year-old girl has suffered life-changing injuries after she was struck by a young man riding an e-scooter in south London.

Lord Holmes told Shelagh Fogarty: "My thoughts go out to the family of the three year-old. Life changing injuries received at the wheels of one of these e-scooters."

"What do you want to see happen?" Shelagh asked.

Lord Holmes replied: "It's pretty clear there are serious issues. The scooters seemingly don't pass any of the tests I would put in place in terms of how could they be part of a healthy strategy, an inclusive strategy, or anything which looks like a safe strategy for the UK.

"The consultation's closed yet the trials continue - that seems somewhat odd to me. And the reality is four deaths in the last four weeks, there's something seriously wrong with the proliferation of e-scooters across the United Kingdom.

"People's lives are being ended, people's lives are being ruined, action needs to be taken now instead of waiting for more deaths, more chaos - it's a fatal free-for-all we're currently in the midst of."

Read more: Man arrested as e-scooter rider, 16, dies after collision with car

Shelagh then asked: "Do you think that people who are visually-impaired, people who are hearing-impaired, are more at risk here?"

"Certainly as a visually-impaired person there's an issue, but it's an issue for everybody," Lord Holmes replied, "if an e-scooter comes along the pavement, it doesn't matter if you have foresight, it's still going to take you out.

"A chap in Northampton just seeking to remove an e-scooter from the pavement fell, ten days later dead in hospital as a result of that abandoned e-scooter on the pavement.

"Just recently the London fire brigade have issued a serious warning for the ferocious fires that have been caused when the batteries on these e-scooters go badly wrong."

A blind caller shared her concerns of e-scooters with LBC: "My partner, who is fully sighted, and I were walking around the back streets and, without any warning from behind, whizzed by a young person, recklessly driving on an e-scooter, very narrowly missed my white guide cane.

"We could have been involved in an accident - these things are heavy and dangerous on the pavement...I'm scared, now, to walk the streets."