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Thoughts about eScooters and other forms of transport


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The Queens speech 2022 announced that a new vehicle category for eScooters will be created in a Transport Bill. I have been thinking today what does this mean for public rights of way and what forms of transport in existence now are still illegal on different classes of highways. Our current law is ridiculous and selectively enforced and the new law will be also.


When is a horse not a horse when using horsedrawn vehicles? Are donkeys, mules, oxen, alpacas, llamas, dogs considered horses with respect to horsedrawn vehicles on byways and other public roads? Or is it that only animals with 100% horse DNA are horses?


Will the new vehicle class of personal electric vehicles descriminate against the disabled? Will they be limited to two wheels, three or four. Three wheel machines that were the forerunners of quad bikes are outlawed in many countries because they are unsafe, so will four wheel scooters be necessary to avoid discrimination towards people that are unsteady on their feet - a form of electric powered Zimmer frame?


At the moment a maximum speed of 15.5mph is being touted with helmets, lights and audible noise emission being a safety requirement.


Will an electric powered personal hoverboard be an eScooter if it can't go over 15.5mph?


Is an eBike tricycle-houseboat a bike?


How many wheels can a bicycle have before it is no longer a bicycle? Is a tricycle a bicycle on a bridleway? Is a bicycle with two stabiliser wheels forbidden on a byway with a permanent TRO for four wheeled vehicles?


Would a wheeled hover platform with two drive wheels in contact with the ground be considered an eBike? Is an e-unicycle an eBike on a bridleway?


Can you ride an Ostrich on a bridleway? Can you ride an Ostrich on a footpath as the Ostrich only has two legs? Is it illegal for human babies to ride on a parent when on a footpath as parents usually have two legs?


If you can legally fly a drone (a mechanically propelled vehicle) over a restricted byway, can you also fly a Jetson One, a drone with the operator onboard along the route of a restricted byway?


With electric vehicles being sold as zero emission when they are clearly not. Even if law makers choose to ignore fossil fuel powered electricity generation when charging vehicle batteries, the brakes and tyres are not everlasting. Brake wear and tyre wear creates particle emissions while the vehicle is in use. Zero emission is not physically possible in a world with friction.


I am looking forward to the pigs ear of a law that creates this new form of e-vehicle to see how I can hack it to regain vehicular use of restricted byways in ways the law makers never envisaged. With enough boundaries pushed to make edge cases acceptable, the sum of the exceptions could make a whole new form of countryside adventure vehicle a possibility.

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Stew the Jeep

Interesting thoughts Vince as time passes the stupidity of the NERC act becomes more apparent I actually know of an RB that is part tarmac with speed bumps AND speed limit signs with a RB sign positioned incorrectly 

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I just thought of another one. If you had a driverless single wheel vehicle, carrying one passenger on a bridleway. What if a number of them could combine together for energy sharing in an articulated swarm. Would the swarm of two become a bicycle, three a tricycle, four a quad bike? What if the swarm grew to 16, would that be a 16 wheeler bus on a bridleway - nobody would be driving it. Swarming could not be illegal otherwise going on a hike with a swarm of ramblers would also be illegal. Ramblers currently swarm to benefit from reduced energy spent on navigation, for sharing of resources, for protection and for social enjoyment. It wouldn't be fair to discriminate against one class of bridleway user to ban social swarming but allow others. But I guess councils already do that with car groups meeting up or driving together and not cycle groups or walkers doing the same thing.

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I think that the legal profession has a lot to answer for with regard to over legislation and raising the cost of living for all.

As for electric scooters, '' we have 'em round 'ere!''  Downright dangerous if you ask me, having nearly been flattened from behind a couple of times on the pavement. They come weaving through traffic and shooting out from between cars at seemingly high speed. Where's their insurance , no. plates and tax (bicycles too!)?

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If cars and motorcycles have to be taxed insured and MOT'd then so should escooters and bicycles. The reasons for cars and motorcycles to have these burdens apply to all wheeled road vehicles.


If car drivers and motorcyclists must have a driving licence category for their vehicle then the so should escooter and bike riders. Responsibility of actions and qualification of the necessary skill to operate the vehicle safely on a public road are the same for every road user.


If cars and motorcycles must have speed camera visible number plates, then so should escooters and bicycles. There should be no reason why some road users should be allowed to break the law specifically in areas where 'safety' cameras are deployed to enforce the law using fines or disqualification.


The escooter and bicycle riding test should be similar to the motorcycle test, CBT to get L plates, full test to get rid of them, 2 year limit on L plates. This is long overdue, unqualified vehicle operatives are a danger to all other road users.


Offences applicable to drivers for intoxication by drink or drugs, distraction by mobile phones and earphones should apply to ALL road users, including pedestrians.


With the recent highway code hierarchy changes that ignore physics, there should be a corresponding law for pedestrian jay-walking, not crossing the street at a pedestrian crossing when one exists within 300m. Not adhering to pedestrian crossing signalling. Deliberately stepping in front of a moving vehicle that does not have sufficient time to stop without the risk of harm to other road users.


Escooters typically have small wheels and tyres that can easily snag pot holes in the road throwing the rider to their death under the wheels of a heavier vehicle. Whatever punishment goes to the driver of the vehicle that injures should also go to the council officer responsible for funding road maintenance, the officer responsible for scheduling the work, and the contractor if a prior repair was shoddy. Perhaps then, councils will decide to segregate traffic types and provide dedicated cycle paths to keep bicycles and escooters off as many roads as possible by putting permanent TRO's for escooters and bicycles on roads where there is a dedicated cycle path alternative that could be used instead.


One aspect of the highway code hierarchy change that most have missed is that none of it applies on sections of the public highway that cross a railway at the same level, the train always has priority. Is the hierarchy unenforceable because of this oversight? Trains are heavier than most HGV. According to the highway code hierarchy it could now be reasonable to expect a train to stop for more vulnerable highway users on crossings without barriers. If a train cannot stop because a highway user ignored the risks to their personal safety, then surely the same exemption applies to all classes of highway vehicle that cannot stop in time.


I don't know if there are any airports like Gibraltar in the UK where a highway crosses an aircraft runway, but it would be interesting if the highway code also ignores aircraft in the hierarchy.


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One issue that always gets me is cyclists and Horse riders.

My understanding is that the Horse and rider have the greater right - but the Lycra Lout cyclists round here regularly flout this.


To see a horse suddenly react to a racing cyclist wizzing at it or past it is is something not easily forgotten.


In contrast motorcyclists and car drivers treat horse riders with respect.


I’ve also never understood how cyclists can organise Time Trials on U.K. roads when such racing competition is illegal for all other road users (as I understand it).



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I absolutely hate the lycra wearing wannabe Tour de France cyclists. One zoomed by me without warning (no bell and approached from behind) while I was walking this morning on the tow path alongside the canal. Obviously unaware that pedestrians have priority and he should have slowed and rang his bell on approach. 

Have watched a good few cross red lights as if they mean nothing. Weave dangerously between traffic. And my pet peeve: ignore the dedicated cycle lane to slow traffic on the main road.

E-scootes have no place on the road. I don't care if you hired it from Uber. They do not have sufficient surface area for reflectors, indicators, lights or the stability to traverse the lovely uneven roads around us. If one decides to jump out in front of me, I'm not going to be bothered to brake. 

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