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  • Writer's pictureDavid Taylor

E-Scooter Safety

On July 12th 2023, Havering Conservatives tabled a motion that asked the council to step up enforcement against the illegal use of e-scooters. Unfortunately, our motion we voted down by Labour and the HRA. They voted in favour of an amendment, which stated only the police have the power to enforce.


Other Conservatives pointed out that the council could enforce in their parks, through new byelaws. The Leader acknowledged this but, still went ahead with the amendment.


I used my contribution to focus on the dangers of e-scooter fires. You can watch my full speech below.


 

Text of speech

Thank you.

Madam Deputy Mayor, E-scooters are a menace and a threat to life.

Fires, starting from e-scooter batteries, have surged across the country.

In 2022, the London Fire Brigade attended 87 e-bike fires, and 29-e-scooter fires. In 2023, they are attending a fire every 2 days.

Those who have seen the impact of these fires will attest, that this is not a small domestic fire which can be easily extinguished.

Lithium battery fires spread quickly and will be out of control in minutes. Eith devices are charged in hallways, they block people from exiting their homes.

Last week the National Fire Chiefs Council issued a public alert. This followed the tragic case of an e-bike fire in Cambridgeshire. It took the lives of a mother and two children.

As Cllr Benham has pointed out, it is only a matter of time until we have an e-bike or e-scooter fire here in Havering.

Madam Deputy Mayor.

Chair of the National Fire Chiefs Council, warns that as these products become a part of our everyday lives, we will see an increasing number of fires with tragic outcomes.

It is, therefore, this council’s duty to ensure that we do all we can to dissuade their use.

The main culprit of the fires are sub-standard products. It’s hard for consumers to tell what they are buying.

Did you know, for example, that the CE mark, which is how the Europe shows a product is safe, is identical to the China Export mark?

I’ll let you guess who copied who. But that’s a problem

It isn’t until 2024, and thanks to Brexit legislation, that we will see the introduction of a unique, UK certification mark.

As long as residents know they can use their scooter, with impunity, they will continue to seek one and they will access the cheap end of the market.

In Southend, the local council introduced a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) in 2019. This allowed for fines to be issued to people using e-scooters. New signage was also installed and a public education programme was rolled out.

Ultimately, we will see the roll out of further legal e-scooter trials in the UK. I hope we get some in Havering. But as long as illegal use is going on, the Council must act.


I'm encouraged to hear that the Leader agrees with the conservatives that this can be enforced in our parks and on private land. And, therefore, I am confused as to the need for the amendment that seems to agree fully with that statement.


With that in mind, I look forward to Havering enforcing in a more strict manner




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