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City MP backs Guide Dogs campaign on the use of e-scooters

Stephen Morgan MP has backed a campaign led by the Guide Dogs charity to raise awareness of the danger that unsafe e-scooter use poses for people with sight loss.

Portsmouth is currently one of the cities in England trialling an e-scooter rental scheme to help the government to determine whether they can be used legally more widely across the country. However, there has been a boom in sales of privately-owned e-scooters which are not legal to use on public roads – yet their use is widespread.

YouGov polling produced for the charity Guide Dogs showed that 92% of people who had seen an e-scooter in the past 6 months, had seen one driven on the pavement. E-scooters driven unsafely on the pavement cause problems for many pedestrians, but people with sight loss who cannot see an e-scooter approach are particularly at risk.

The Portsmouth MP has written to the Home Secretary on the issue after his constituents raised similar concerns, as well as requesting further detail on government plans to protect and regulate against the continued illegal use and sale of e-scooters for use in public spaces and roads.

Mr Morgan will also be meeting the local provider of the e-scooter scheme to raise matters with them too.

Stephen Morgan MP is supporting Guide Dogs’ call for a public information campaign to stop the illegal use of e-scooters.

The Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan, said:

“It is clear from conversations with constituents that e-scooters pose a risk to some vulnerable people.

“The government has got to come forward with a clear strategy on how it plans to better protect those most at risk to e-scooters, whether that’s through local rental schemes or illegal use of ones that are privately owned.

“That’s why I’m supporting the Guide Dogs’ campaign and will continue to keep pressure on government, in addition to the range of actions I have taken already on this important issue.”

Chris Theobald, Senior Policy, Public Affairs and Campaigns Manager for Guide Dogs, said:

“We have seen alarming reports of unsafe and anti-social behaviour, pedestrians injured in collisions, and illegal private e-scooter use increasing. 68% of guide dog owners have told us that e-scooters reduce their confidence to leave the house.

“It’s essential that pavements are kept clear and safe. That’s why we’re asking for better enforcement, controls on sales, and safety features if they are to be legalised.”