Since July 2020 I have held four e-scooter roundtable meetings with groups representing the interests of disabled people, including those with sight loss. The most recent roundtable was held on 7 June 2021. Local areas involved in the trials gave presentations on what they are doing to address the concerns of disabled people in trial areas.
We have instructed all local authorities participating in trials to engage throughout the trial period with these groups in their local areas to ensure their concerns are being heard and, where possible, mitigated. Following our consultation last year, and feedback from subsequent stakeholder activities, we have required all e-scooters used in trials to have a horn or bell so that users can make others aware of their presence. The Department’s guidance for trial areas is also clear that there needs to be sufficient parking provision in trial areas; where a dockless operating model is being used, local authorities should ensure that e-scooters do not become obstructive to other road users and pedestrians, particularly those with disabilities.
The Department has in place a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation programme and we have also made additional commitments such as allowing vulnerable road user groups to take part in the evaluation process.