Avanti West Coast to ban e-scooters in trains and stations over safety fears

Avanti West Coast has banned e-scooters on all its trains and stations due to safety fears.

The train operator said that from Tuesday 27 December the devices would be banned because of the risks posed by lithium-ion batteries commonly used in e-scooters. It said these batteries “can produce toxic gas vapors and present a fire or explosion hazard” if they are damaged or overheated.

The ban covers e-scooters and hoverboards, but mobility scooters, electric wheelchairs and e-bikes are exempt from the policy.

Dave Whitehouse, Director of Safety and Security at Avanti West Coast, said: “At Avanti West Coast the safety of our staff and customers comes first. The risk associated with e-scooters is a significant concern and that is why we provide them at our stations and on our trains are banned in

“This temporary ban is to preserve the safety of our associates and customers until there is more regulation on e-scooters. We ask our customers to comply with these new regulations and be kind to our employees who help enforce them. Called for, so that we can keep everyone safe.

Despite their ubiquity in cities in England, it is against the law to ride a privately owned e-scooter on public roads. However, dozens of UK cities have legal trials of rental e-scooters where the device can be ridden on the street and in cycle lanes. The trial started in July 2020 and has been extended till May 2024 due to the delay caused by Covid.

E-scooters were banned last year by Transport for London, citing safety risks after several batteries caught fire.

The announcement of the Avanti West Coast ban came on the same day a coroner issued a warning about e-scooter safety following the death of a 14-year-old girl. Fatima Abukar was riding a privately owned e-scooter on the pavement in East Ham in east London on March 21 last year before entering the carriageway and colliding with the minibus. The inquest heard she fell under its wheels and died from “catastrophic head injuries”.

East London senior coroner Graeme Irvine said the number of deaths from e-scooter crashes had more than doubled after police changed a policy to confiscate fewer devices.

He issued a report to the Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, and the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Mark Rowley, asking them to take action to prevent future deaths.

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