Many people, me included, are in favour of reducing vehicle usage by adopting walking, cycling and e-scootering etc. Guide Dogs sent me an email template to forward to East Herts District Councillors regarding the current national e-scooter trials - and - safety issues relating to pedestrians, especially those with sight loss.
I've attached the (pdf) text of the email sent to Councillors (Rosemary B & Mari S) and wonder what others think about e-scooters in the context of sustainable transport methods. In principle. I think they're great, although I understand that Teesside, one of the first authorities to take part in the government's national pilot scheme, has encountered a few problems.
What seriously worries me in Hertford, is that we don't even prevent the use of cycles on pavements, with some cyclists even expecting pedestrians to stand aside so they can whizz past. Having already seen e-scooters being used on pavements - pavements that are often extremely narrow due to obstructive pavement parking, walking is set to become even more stressful and thus for some, less desirable.
As has already been mentioned, dedicated cycle / e-scooter paths have to be in place, pavement parking needs and hopefully will be regulated thus leaving pavements as 'safer' places to walk on, especially for: people with disabilities; schoolchildren; parents with buggies; those carrying shopping and dog walkers.
Just to say that Cllr Rosemary Bolton responded to say she had contacted Officers at EHDC. It seems that there are no plans for trialling e-scooters in East Herts.
Given that some people are starting to use these on pavements it was suggested that this dangerous practice is raised with the police.
While I agree that the matter should be flagged up with the police, the reality is that enforcement won't happen, as it doesn't with pavement cycling.
We're back to dedicated travel lanes and the need for them ASAP.
Coincidentally, I again encountered an e-scooter zooming towards me whilst walking down Ware Road this afternoon. It seems that cars still rule despite what the HCC Transport Strategy says.
Hi Karen - I too favour escooters the “e.ways” for which a new plan is required with HCC - this should be segregated from pedestrians for the reasons you mention - these “e.ways” could be used for bicycles, escooters, disability buggies. Skateboarders et Al. I will set up a meeting with HCC to establish their current plans which will require very detailed research by us all to identify a workable plan with sources of funding - perhaps sustrans could be contacted for ideas?
I support the use of escooters but think that there needs to be significant development of scooter/cycle ways, separate to pavements. There seems to be an expectation from local and national government that by just enacting initiatives (eg reducing the number of car parking spaces per house without increasing public transport provision) that people will magically switch behaviour and catch the 'once every few hours' buses.
To mitigate climate change we all need to use cars less (whether electric, petrol, diesel or other) but the only way this is feasible is by an effort. My husband and I are a one car family but this involves compromise and is only possible because I am willing to use public transport for the majority of my business travel. However the train fares are much more expensive than taking a car plus if I am going to the NE of England I still need to get to Stevenage on private transport because even when the Hert N to Stevenage train link was working it was so unreliable that I missed 2 out of 3 of the once per hour train from Stevenage onwards. Travel to anywhere else generally involves me heading into London and changing because of the lack of East/West viable transport links
Our councils seem to believe that they can just put up some signs and this makes things work; for example Tamworth Road became 'cycle friendly' by the erection of some blue, bicycle signs but there was no measures to address the fact that there is only a single car width between the parked cars and a large amount of two way traffic at the East end of the road due to allotment traffic; particularly at the weekend when many cyclists are trying to use the 'cycle not that friendly' route. The Council didn't even fill in the pot holes which are obviously a danger to cyclists.
We need some joined up thinking and fully planned transport routes rather than cosmetic 'putting up some signs'; this is why I am working on the Neighbourhood Plan; to have a realistic transport strategy that doesn't merely focus on how to get more cars through Hertford but how to reduce the number of cars while maintaining or increasing the number of people that transit to and through Hertford