E-scooter riders warned over pavement rules as issues continue
There has been a marked increase in electric scooter use and ownership in Liverpool
The increased use of electric scooters has prompted police to remind people about the strict rules on riding them and how they are not allowed on pavements.
There has been a rise in the number of e-scooters in Liverpool particularity following the recently-introduced year-long pilot scheme making 150 of the vehicles available for rent, to be used within the confines of an approved area, which runs from Boundary Street to Sefton Street.
Those distinctive coral-coloured and carbon neutral e-scooters are placed at key sites around the city centre - including the shopping and commercial districts as well as near to the University of Liverpool and LJMU campuses.
The vehicles will travel at a maximum speed of 10 miles an hour, but their speed will be electronically restricted to around five miles an hour in areas with high footfall.
But Merseyside Police have said they have noticed a marked increase in e-scooters ownership and use, aside from the council pilot.
If it is a hired local authority scooter being ridden, as part of the pilot, they are banned from pavements and can only be used on roads.
Users must be aged 18 and over, passengers are not allowed, riders need a full or provisional licence and they must remain within the approved areas.
If a person is using their own electric scooter, they are only allowed on private land, and not roads.
Police have launched Operation Mute to deal with the problem.
A spokesman said: "In recent months there has been an increase in this type of vehicle being used on the road and pavements and Merseyside Police are committed to educating the public in the use of such vehicles.
"...there has been some confusion into the use of e-scooters as in July 2020 there was a change in the law that allowed e-scooter schemes to be trialled in towns and cities across the UK.
"This trial allows shared scheme e-scooters to be hired out under a strict set of guidelines.
"In the run-up to Christmas and over the festive period, Merseyside Police will be conducting checks to ensure the laws are being complied with and will educate those who are unsure with the rules, we will also be working wit retailers to ensure they advise customers if the legislation when e-scooters.
"Merseyside Police will on take action where there is a blatant misuse of these vehicles and traffic offences have been committed."
Members of the public have recently expressed concern about e-scooters, particularly their use on pavements where pedestrians are walking.
One woman said: "They are lethal.
"Lad from [the local school] has one, on Friday he zoomed down the busy pavement on Cross Lane then crossed Stanton Road without looking around once.
"Going to cause an accident soon."
The pilot scheme is a joint initiative between Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and Liverpool City Council.
The e-scooters available through the scheme are only available to users between 6am and 10pm.
The trial area covers Liverpool city centre, extending from the city’s historic waterfront to its Knowledge Quarter, Georgian Quarter and the Vauxhall area to the north of the city centre.
Supported by Department for Transport, the Liverpool e-scooter trial is one of more than a dozen taking place across the UK, including in the West Midlands and Northamptonshire.
It is hoped that the vehicles can be used to support public transport and provide a new low-carbon mode of transport, particularly vital at a time when vigilance around social distancing is required.
Police is asking anyone who is thinking about buying an e-scooter to reconsider and look to utilise this service instead.
Chief Inspector Tony Jones said: “We understand e-scooters may appeal to many people for various reasons, whether it’s to travel to work, to purchase as a gift for someone or to enjoy as a fun activity, but we must stress the fact that to use them in public is illegal and can present a safety risk to yourself and others.
“Recently, we have seen a rise in incidents involving electric scooters, including a minor injury collision with a car and I want to make it clear that these scooters are not toys, and have the potential to cause serious injury or even worse."
If you have information on the criminal or anti-social use of electric scooters on Merseyside, please contact @MerPolCC, 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously on 0800 555 111.