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Labour councillor Dave Wilson criticises scheme

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Labour councillor Dave Wilson criticises scheme

With a trial of electrical scooters now underway in Canterbury , Cllr Dave Wilson (Lab) questions the motivation behind the controversial scheme…

We’re about to be suffering from e-scooters.You might have already got encountered these, after all, barrelling alongside the pavement at 15mph, weaving out and in of automobiles: silent, uninsured and, it must be stated, unlawful.

The Bird electric scooters at the University of Kent. Picture: Bird
The Hen electrical scooters on the College of Kent. Image: Hen

Now, due to Canterbury Metropolis Council and KCC, a authorized trial of those scooters is now underway, operating between the Kent and Christ Church college campuses.

To be honest, the corporate operating the scheme, Hen, has a very good product. Totally insured, with lights, tightly constrained to a really particular route with speeds restricted from place to position, and restricted to adults with a driving licence, it is likely to be that that is as secure a trial as it’s attainable to have. However that doesn’t imply it’s a good suggestion.

The argument is that this can cut back automobile actions between the 2 universities, though since nobody is aware of what number of such journeys there are, this might be an issue which doesn’t exist. Neither is it solely apparent that any lecturers or college students who do journey between the websites will select a longish scooter experience uncovered to the weather, for which privilege they must pay a £1 fastened cost plus 19p a minute, over utilizing the automobile or bus.

In fact, nobody has requested the residents who reside or stroll alongside the proposed route whether or not they wish to be confronted with the danger of demise by e-scooter.

Nonetheless, the district’s very personal tech-loving whizz child, council chief Ben Fitter-Harding, a person who doesn’t let trivial points like information sully his enthusiasm for imposing options nobody requested for to issues that don’t exist, is all for it – which is, it appears, all that issues.

But if we actually wish to take automobiles off the highway and supply another that residents may truly use, why has this scheme been allowed? Why not hyperlink up London Highway property or Spring Lane with the town centre? Why not run it from a park and experience website? Why not make present e-scooters authorized?

The reply, after all, is cash. This trial is a industrial dry run, not a public service. Hen wish to know if demand for the service exists. They wish to make a revenue. So that they needed to persuade the authorities to allow them to play on our pavements, park footpaths and roads – the route meanders throughout all these at completely different factors – to check the idea.

Canterbury city councillor Dave Wilson
Canterbury metropolis councillor Dave Wilson

They want clients who can afford their expenses, who is probably not those that want transport however can’t pay £6 plus to get into the town and residential once more.

They definitely don’t wish to make investments cash in creating secure routes for his or her scooters to make use of, separate from pedestrians and site visitors.

This is the reason I object to the scheme. It’s not that it’s a completely unhealthy concept: but when we’re critical about getting individuals out of their automobiles then we have to make a dedication to doing it correctly. Whereas it’s a truism that increasing roads creates extra site visitors, we by no means appear to assume that constructing extra bike lanes could have the identical influence on cycle utilization.

Which means cash being spent on devoted bike and scooter paths. It means creating the capability to securely accommodate issues travelling at as much as 15mph, with correct highway crossings, lighting and signage. It means selecting routes that folks truly wish to use, not between websites that nobody truly travels.

It means pondering long-term, and for public good, not non-public achieve. Which, as we’re frequently seeing, appears to be one thing past our council.

Read more: All the latest news from Canterbury


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