AN ANGRY Slough resident has accused the council and an e-scooter provider of ‘lying’ over technology to deal with selfish users.

Slough Borough Council and Neuron Mobility, who supply the orange e-scooters in the area, were under fire again over safety concerns of the rental scheme.

The e-scooters became available in certain parts of Slough last October as part of a trial scheme approved by government to encourage greener travel.

In order to use an e-scooter, you must be 18 and over, hold a provisional or full driver’s license, and can only be ridden on the road within the trial areas.

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Since it began, their usage prompted safety fears with people reporting they have seen ‘dangerous’ riding by users such as using them on the pavement or causing damage to motorists’ vehicles.

Slough resident Jaspal Dhariwal told the Local Democracy Reporting Service he has expressed his safety concerns over this scheme after seeing e-scooters ‘cluttering’ up the pavements in multiple Slough streets, such as his own in College Avenue.

He said: “On my road, the pavement is not wide and also has other obstructions such as trees and lamppost, signage etc. and my dad is a wheelchair user and if I took him out then I would have been forced into the road.”

Royal Borough Observer: Bad e-scooter parking on a narrow pavementBad e-scooter parking on a narrow pavement

He also said he has complained to the council and Neuron over this but was told ‘geofencing’ technology is used for Neuron to stop and pick up the scooter if it’s found to be in a no-go zone or on the pavement.

However, Mr Dhariwal hit out saying this technology does not exist after ‘researching’ the scooters functionality and accused them of being deceitful.

Parking bays for the scooters are placed on the pavements – but Mr Dhariwal said the scooters are classed as vehicles and should be parked in in-street bays to stop clogging up the pavement.

He said: “The problem with parking bays on pavements is that it already restricts space for pedestrians, affects social distancing, encouraged users to not dismount onto the road and the council encourages parking of the E-Scooters on the pavement thus causing further blocking of pavements.”

Royal Borough Observer: The E-scooter scheme was launched last October in Slough to encourage greener travelThe E-scooter scheme was launched last October in Slough to encourage greener travel

In a joint statement, a spokesperson for Neuron and Slough Borough Council said a “vast majority” of their users have been riding in a responsible and safe manner since the trial began – with a few exceptions.

They say the e-scooters do have geofencing as they use it to implement no-go zones and no-parking zones as well as dedicated parking stations.

The joint statement also stated they cannot eliminate bad parking and riding entirely, but have introduced, and will continue to introduce, measures to reduce this as much as possible.

One of these includes GPS-connected registration places which log every trip to help identify anyone “behaving irresponsibly” as well as reposition e-scooters where they are needed most.

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They said: “All of the e-scooters have a topple detection feature that uses GPS to alert operations teams if they have been left on their side. We prioritise reports of bad parking and rectify the issues as quickly as possible. The operations teams work around the clock repositioning e-scooters safely, and moving them to areas where they are needed most.

“Members of the public can report any issues with riding and parking by contacting Neuron’s Customer Support team, via the Neuron app or by phone and email – the details can be found on Neuron’s website and on the e-scooters.”