Avanti West Coast to ban e-scooters on trains and stations for safety reasons | Transport

Avanti West Coast has banned e-scooters on all its trains and stations for safety reasons.

The train operator said that from Tuesday 27 December the devices will be banned due to the danger posed by the lithium-ion batteries normally found in e-scooters. It said these batteries can produce “fumes of toxic gases and lead to a fire or explosion hazard” if damaged or overheated.

The ban covers e-scooters and hoverboards, but mobility scooters, electric wheelchairs and e-bikes are excluded 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 dangers associated with e-scooters are a major concern and are why we ban them from our stations and on our trains.

“This temporary ban is to keep our colleagues and customers safe until there is greater regulation of e-scooters. We ask our customers to abide by these new rules and be courteous to our staff who help enforce them so we can keep everyone safe.”

Despite their ubiquity in English cities, riding a privately owned e-scooter on public roads is illegal. However, there are legal trials of e-scooter hire in dozens of cities across the UK, where the device can be ridden on the road and on cycle paths. Trials began in July 2020 and due to delays caused by Covid, have been extended to May 2024.

E-scooters were banned across the network by Transport for London last year, citing safety risks after a series of battery fires.

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

East London’s senior coroner Graeme Irvine said deaths from e-scooter accidents more than doubled after police changed policy to seize fewer of the 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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