Paris bans e-scooters after mini referendum, could London be next?

Parisians have overwhelmingly voted to banish for-hire e-scooters from the streets of the French capital, in a mini-referendum the mayor mentioned despatched a “very clear message”.

Roughly 15,000 e-scooters may now vanish from central Paris on the finish of August when the town’s contracts with the three operators expire.

In Paris, the query that Metropolis Corridor requested voters in its citywide mini-referendum on Sunday was: “For or in opposition to self-service scooters in Paris?”

The consequence was not shut. Metropolis Corridor mentioned on its web site about 103,000 folks voted, with 89 per cent rejecting e-scooters and simply 11 per cent supporting them.

Turnout was very low. The vote had been open to all of Paris’ 1.38 million registered voters.

Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo hailed the vote as a hit and repeated her vow to respect the result of the consultative referendum.

The voters’ “very clear message now turns into our information”, she mentioned. “With my group, we’ll observe up on their choice as I had pledged.”

Scattered round Paris, simple to find and rent with a downloadable app and comparatively low-cost, the scooters are successful with vacationers who love their pace and the help-yourself freedom they provide.

Within the 5 years since their introduction, following within the wake of shared vehicles and shared bicycles, for-hire scooters have additionally constructed a following amongst some Parisians who don’t want or can not afford their very own however like the choice to flee the Metro and different public transport.

However many Parisians complain that e-scooters are an eyesore and a visitors menace, and the micro-vehicles have been concerned in a whole lot of accidents.

Ms Hidalgo and a few of her deputies campaigned to banish the “free floating” rental flotilla — so referred to as as a result of scooters are picked up and dropped off round city at their renters’ whim — on security, public nuisance and environmental cost-benefit grounds earlier than the capital hosts the Olympic Video games subsequent yr.

Within the UK, personal e-scooters should not banned, however the Metropolitan Police says e-scooters “come underneath the class of “powered transporters” and are subsequently classed as motor autos underneath the Highway Site visitors Act 1988.”

“It’s not presently doable to get insurance coverage for privately owned e-scooters, which suggests it’s unlawful to make use of them on the street or in public areas. In case you’re utilizing a personal e-scooter you threat the car being seized underneath S.165 Highway Site visitors Act 1988 for no insurance coverage.”

Londoners are informed they aren’t allowed to hold e-scooters on London Underground. Some proceed to make use of them on the street regardless of the danger of seizure.

Transport for London has a rental scooter scheme which it launched in Spring 2020.

The Mayor of London’s workplace has been requested for remark.

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