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Nottingham woman with vision disability not happy with e-scooters

Nottingham woman with vision disability not happy with e-scooters

A Nottingham woman with a vision disability was left bruised after falling over an abandoned e-scooter.

“It makes me feel really very anxious that actually the place where it’s supposed to be safe for me to walk is now no longer safe anymore,” said Rachael Pereira.

Nottingham is currently running a pilot project to evaluate the effectiveness and popularity of public e-scooters as an alternative form of transport.

Rules state e-scooters are only to be used on roads, but Pereira says they are illegally being ridden on sidewalks.

Designated parking spots are marked out for users to pick up & leave the e-scooters.

But ITV News confirmed that many e-scooters are being left in non-designated areas, wherever the user chooses, creating a potential trip hazard for citizens with vision disabilities.

With lockdown restrictions easing, the fear is this could deter people with visual disabilities from traversing the city.

The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association believes more needs to be done to monitor the use of e-scooters.

Nottingham city council says the e-scooters have bells which users are supposed to ring when passing a person and they are restricted to a top speed of 5mph in the city centre.
Council says it has met with local disability groups to hear their concerns, and it continues to review any safety risks.

“Both the City Council and scheme operator Wind Mobility met with the local Disability Involvement Group to understand concerns and worked to ensure the necessary safety measures are in place. However, we’re continuing to review safety risks regularly. The e-scooters are speed-restricted, and in the city centre cannot travel faster than 5mph. In addition, all e-scooters are fitted with a bell, which we would encourage riders to use when they will be passing close by a pedestrian or other road user, as you would on a bike,” said Councillor Adele Williams, Portfolio Holder for Transport at Nottingham City Council.

The scooter operator, Wind Mobility, told ITV News that it is tripling its penalty fee for improper parking and will be hiring people to patrol and identify anyone not following the rules.

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