Push for e-scooter compliance
The Carlton Residents’ Association (CRA) recently addressed the trial of the e-scooter shared scheme introduced in 2022 across the municipalities of Melbourne, Yarra, and Port Phillip.
The recent announcement that the trial would be extended for a further six months raises many questions that need to be answered to ensure that the future of commercial e-scooters is based on an independent and consultative process and not beholden to the interests of the companies providing the e-scooters.
We are aware of many incidents of riding on footpaths, excessive speed, the non-wearing of helmets and the inappropriate placing of e-scooters on footpaths, roads and local parks.
While there is a popularly held view that e-scooters contribute to an integrated transport system there is no evidence to support such a claim. In fact, as other cities have experienced around the world, e-scooters are not replacing cars but instead walking and cycling. Paris, a pioneer of e-scooters, has now banned them!
We therefore wrote to the Lord Mayor and Councillors requesting a review of the use of e-scooters across our municipality to ensure that the views of residents inform the state government’s decision on the future of commercially available e-scooters.
We are pleased to report that Cr Rohan Leppert has responded to our request and has informed the CRA that the council’s Annual Plan now includes a provision that it establishes “a position on the future of commercial e-scooters operations in the municipality in response to Victorian Government decisions”.
There will therefore be an opportunity later in the year for the council to consider its position on e-scooters in an open session for community input.
The CRA believes that if commercially operated e-scooters are to be part of the transport mix we would need to be assured that the state government and the City of Melbourne would introduce laws for their use to ensure compliance of companies and their users.
We believe that the State government and the council should be seeking to encourage walking, cycling and public transport usage and reduce car usage across our city. •