London’s Transport agency is set to ban e-scooters on the city’s roads due to safety concerns after the recently reported fires.
The ban will take effect on Dec. 13, and it will apply to all public transport in the city, including buses and underground trains.
London to Ban E-Scooters
Even though e-scooters are currently banned on the roads and sidewalks of the United Kingdom, shops can still sell them and still be used in private places, according to The Verge.
The only legal e-scooters used in London are the ones that are part of rental trails that began over the summer. The ban does not include mobility scooters permitted on Transport of London or TfL’s network, and e-bikes that are foldable and are sold by the three approved distributors in London can still roam around the city streets.
Exclusive – Footage shows the dangers of escooter battery fires on the tube. This happened on Monday night. @TSSAunion calling for a ban on carrying escooters on public transport saying they’re a “significant threat”. More BBC1 @BBCLondonNews 1330 & 1830 & https://t.co/AnnXezXTE2 pic.twitter.com/iCjNLtlKDu
— Tom Edwards (@BBCTomEdwards) November 3, 2021
Lilli Matson, the agency’s chief safety officer, said that they are worried about the recent dangerous incidents on London’s several public transport services. These incidents involved massive fires and considerable toxic smoke and property damage.
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Matson also said they have talked to the London Fire Brigade to know how they should deal with the devices, and after the review, they have decided to ban them.
Customers who try to bring their e-scooters onto the London streets will not access the stations and premises. They also won’t be permitted to use public services.
TfL did not specify the fires that it talked about in the statement. However, Standard. The U.K. reported on an incident in November when an e-scooter suddenly exploded in London Underground station. It caused black smoke in the area.
The agency stated that the incidents it referenced were caused by defective lithium-ion batteries which exploded without warning, which led to fires that caused toxic smoke. If such a fire happened in an enclosed area, it could harm the customers and the staff.
Those who violate the ban will be fined £1,000 or about $1,300.
E-Scooter Exploded in London Underground
In footage obtained by The Standard, passengers at Parsons Green station in west London evacuated the area after an e-scooter exploded.
The clouds of smoke covered the station as the electric scooter was dragged onto the platform while it was on fire.
The passengers can be heard coughing and spluttering on the video due to smoke inhalation after the lithium battery of the e-scooter caught fire at the front of the train.
The train driver immediately instructed passengers to evacuate the train. The first responder said that the smoke was damaged due to the chemicals in the scooter’s battery.
One passenger reported smoke inhalation. Luckily, there were no other injuries that were reported in the incident.
Because of this, union bosses called for TfL to tighten the ban on taking e-scooters on the tube network, and this is the ban that is set to take effect on Dec. 13.
Lorraine Ward, the organizing director of Technical Standards and Safety Authority, said that the incident at Parsons Green raised severe concerns about the safety of e-scooters.
On the other side of the pond, New York announced that e-scooters are now legal in the city.
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Written by Sophie Webster
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