Redditch airs its views on Bird e-scooters at consultation - The Redditch Standard

Redditch airs its views on Bird e-scooters at consultation

Redditch Editorial 1st Jul, 2023   0

CONCERNS were raised about the ongoing Bird e-scooter trial at a packed consultation meeting at Redditch Town Hall on Wednesday night.

Attendees were able to air their views and ask questions about the trial, which began in October 2020 and runs until March 2024.

The meeting heard that to date, the e-scooters, designed to offer a green alternative to cars, have made 121,000 journeys in the town, saving 4.2metric tonnes of CO2.

However, several residents queried how many of those rides were legal, with some claiming to have seen two or even three children riding one scooter on busy roads.

Others said they had seen ‘appalling riding behaviour’, including riders using them dangerously on footpaths.

One man said, while he appreciated the green benefits of the e-scooters, the implementation was ‘ill-thought out’ and felt the problem was the riders themselves.

Another added he felt the scheme could work but that Bird ‘was not yet doing enough’.

Bird’s senior operations associate, Helena Dereymaeker, said people were able to educate themselves on how to safely use the scooters via the information on the company’s app and through social media.

However she acknowledged it could be possible to better engage with schools to teach young people why using scooters was unsafe.

Questions were raised as to what happens to those caught misusing the machines or found to have caused accidents.

Miss Dereymaeker said, depending on the severity of the case, punishments ranged from warnings, fines and bans to working with police to bring about harsher punishments.

Council leader Coun Matt Dormer said people could report incidents by logging the date, time and location of it on the Bird app which could see riders held accountable as ID was verified before use.

Strategic planning and conservation manager Mike Dunphy added people could search ‘e-scooters Redditch’ online and click on the council website to find details of how to report issues to him.

One person asked about possibly creating marked-out parking areas for scooters to avoid people dumping them on pavements.

Miss Dereymaeker said it would be possible and financial incentives could be offered to people parking in drop zones and charging those who did not.

Redditch Labour leader Coun Joe Baker said he was ‘disappointed’ more statistics around issues such as illegal rides, incidents and prosecutions could not be provided.

Miss Dereymaeker vowed to make the information available as soon as possible.


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