Call to crack down on private e-scooters at the Fitzroy Gardens

Call to crack down on private e-scooters at the Fitzroy Gardens
Brendan Rees

The East Melbourne Group (EMG) has raised concerns of private e-scooters zipping through the Fitzroy Gardens, endangering unsuspecting pedestrians.

Members of the group want to see a police blitz so that riders follow the rules while using their devices to ensure the safety of park users.

Fitzroy Gardens has been designated a no-ride zone for all hire e-scooters under the shared rider scheme through providers Neuron and Lime, which is controlled through geofencing technology that activates an audio warning to the rider.

A ban on private e-scooters was lifted in March last year, and they can now be used on bike lanes, shared paths, and on roads with a speed limit of 60km/h. However, riding on footpaths is still illegal, and they are also banned from using the Fitzroy Gardens.

The EMG’s concerns come after resident Hazel Westbury was almost bowled over by a private e-scooter rider at the Fitzroy Gardens near Wellington Pde in March.

“I only walked two steps and he sped right up to me, and right past me, almost knocking me over,” she said.

“He was a whisker away … he had plenty of time to see me. He increased his speed in preparation to go up the hill towards Treasury Gardens.”


I’ve changed the pattern of my day and I’m reluctant to go to the gardens. Instead of relaxing I’ll have to be on guard.


In a statement, the City of Melbourne said it had not received any complaints in relation to cycling and e-scooter use in Fitzroy Gardens in the past six months, noting Victoria Police were responsible for the enforcement of e-scooter regulation.

“City of Melbourne park rangers patrol Fitzroy Gardens daily – helping to deter cyclists from using the gardens as a thoroughfare during peak commute times,” it said.

EMG president Greg Bisinella said private e-scooters riders should be monitored at the gardens, including a police blitz to ensure compliance was met.

“Saying there’s no complaints is a pretty meek approach to the issue. We all know they’re there. We have enough evidence from our members, and it would only take a council member to stand there for a morning a week to assess the situation,” he said.

The EMG’s vice-president Jennifer Owen said she had requested both the council and Victoria Police to increase their patrols at the Fitzroy Gardens.

“I have suggested it would be good if there was a registration system for these bicycles and scooters as if there were number plates required, it would give victims a way of reporting incidents to the authorities,” she said.

Melbourne East Local Area Commander Inspector Dale Huntington said police bike units regularly patrolled the city, targeting e-scooter riders who breached the rules.

“We are aware of it. There’s always going to be occasions when they’re not there. If we’re getting information from the City of Melbourne, we’re happy to follow it up,” he said. •

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