Police stop e-scooter rider as he tries to travel through the two-mile-long Mersey tunnel

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Police stop e-scooter rider as he tries to travel through the two-mile-long Mersey tunnel

A man was stopped after illegally riding an electric scooter down the two-mile-long Queensway Tunnel today amid increasing safety concerns about the v

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A man was stopped after illegally riding an electric scooter down the two-mile-long Queensway Tunnel today amid increasing safety concerns about the vehicles.

Dash cam footage shows the e-scooter rider wobbling dangerously and forcing two cars to overtake in the tunnel linking Liverpool and Birkenhead.

A passenger riding with a baby in the car behind took the video because of concerns he was ‘going to cause a crash’.

It comes after pedestrians launched complaints after a 50-vehicle e-scooter trial in Middlesborough last week, which saw riders riders mount pavements and zip through shopping areas.

The trial was suspended alongside proposed trials in Hartlepool and Coventry, the first city to cancel the nationwide scheme.

A man was stopped after riding on an electric scooter down the Queensway Tunnel in Liverpool today

A man was stopped after riding on an electric scooter down the Queensway Tunnel in Liverpool today

In the video, a man wearing a dark jacket, short blue jeans and a back pack rides down the outer lane of the tunnel.

The driver behind follows slowly at a distance as a baby and woman can be heard in the car.

As two cars are forced to overtake both the scooter and the car filming, the woman says: ‘Take over then.’

A Merseytravel spokesperson told the Liverpool Echo: ‘E-scooters are not allowed through the Mersey Tunnels under any circumstances and anyone contravening the Mersey Tunnels Byelaws or Road Traffic Act will be subject to appropriate action.

‘In this instance, the driver in the video was stopped by Mersey Tunnels Police and given appropriate advice.’

Local authorities, including in Milton Keynes, above, have been able to launch 12-month pilots into e-scooter rental around towns and cities. But pedestrians have complained about riders

Local authorities, including in Milton Keynes, above, have been able to launch 12-month pilots into e-scooter rental around towns and cities. But pedestrians have complained about riders 

Merseyside Police and Merseytravel have been approached for comment.

Riding rental e-scooters on the roads and cycle paths became legal on July 4, but it remains illegal in Mersey Tunnels.

The Government is currently conducting a trial of electric, or e-scooter, rental fleets in cities across the country with a view to legalisation.

Milton Keynes and Birmingham have successfully launched the scheme, with around 50 local authorities thought to be interested. 

Where can I ride an e-scooter? It’s okay on the roads… but not on the pavements 

Riding rental e-scooters on the roads and cycle paths became legal on July 4. 

However, riding these scooters on pavements will remain illegal and will only be allowed in pre-approved locations where the hiring scheme is taking place. 

It will still be illegal to ride privately-owned electric scooters on the pavement, roads and cycle paths.

You can only ride your own e-scooter on private land, with permission from the person who owns the land. 

You must have a driving licence or a provisional driving licence and be at least 16 years old to hire an electric scooter. 

They will be limited to a maximum speed of 15.5mph and it’s recommended that riders wear a helmet, though it isn’t mandatory.  

Privately-owned e-scooters cannot be legally ridden on the roads because they don’t always have visible rear red lights, number plates or signally ability. 

They are treated the same as motor vehicles because they are classified as Personal Light Electric Vehicles (PLEVs). 

This means they are subject to the same legal requirements as other motor vehicles and must therefore have MOT, tax, licensing and specific construction.   

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However, riding these scooters on pavements will remain illegal and will only be allowed in pre-approved locations where the hiring scheme is taking place. 

It will still be illegal to ride privately-owned electric scooters on the pavement, roads and cycle paths.

You can only ride your own e-scooter on private land, with permission from the person who owns the land. 

You must have a driving licence or a provisional driving licence and be at least 16 years old to hire an electric scooter. 

Road safety groups and charities advocating for protection of people with sensory difficulties have raised serious objections to the legalisation of e-scooters.

Chris Theobald, public affairs manager at Guide Dogs, said: ‘E-scooters are extremely difficult for blind and partially sighted people to detect and avoid because they operate quietly which makes them difficult to hear. 

‘It’s disappointing that despite sharing information and best practice guidelines with all operators, reassurances made by some operators about safety and use of e-scooters have not been met. 

‘Local authorities running the trials need to make sure that operators are meeting their obligations and if the trials are not being run safely, they need to be reviewed and paused immediately if necessary.’

Andrew Hodgson, president of the National Federation for the Blind, said in June: ‘After learning about the accidents e-scooters have caused, it is very clear to me they are not fit for purpose.

‘Riders appear to fall from them very easily, causing serious head injuries along with many broken bones.

‘It is also clear from practical experience, dockless e-scooters simply do not work as the machines can end up anywhere in the city.

‘This causes totally random potential barriers to access across city pavement and public space for disabled and elderly people and mothers with buggies.

‘At a time of social distancing when urgency has been placed by the Government on active travel, it is critical that all spare public space on the highway is protected for walking and cycling.

‘E-scooters will only take people away from active travel and those embracing walking and cycling will be faced with danger and chaos if e-scooters are legalised in the UK.’

Last week it was announced e-scooters could be fitted with number plates after warnings that antisocial behaviour related to their use is on the rise.

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