Living Streets welcomes the focus on safety and accessibility on our footpaths in the report back from the Transport and Infrastructure Select Committee. The Committee report on the Footpaths4Feet petition to have e-scooters and other devices kept off footpaths has been released today (see https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/sc/reports/document/SCR_107995/petition-ofchris-teo-sherrell-for-footpaths4feet-keep).
Chris Teo-Sherrell of Living Streets Aotearoa says "We welcome the findings of the committee which include some pointed comments relating to the manner in which the Ministry of Transport has developed its proposals for allowing e-scooters and bicycles and other devices to be ridden on footpaths. The emphasis the Committee suggests should be given to walking is consistent with the Climate Change Commission's call for more walking." Teo-Sherrell said, "the Select Committee correctly highlighted that safety and accessibility for all should be the over-riding concern of the Ministry. Clearly, the Road Rule proposals fail on that score given the adverse effects they would have on pedestrians - both disabled and able-bodied."
The report says: 'We do not want to see walking pushed to the side when considering transport options. Although we appreciate all modes of transport, more importance should be put on promoting walking to the general public. In the future we would like to see pedestrians being adequately consulted when transport planning occurs. We expect the ministry to continue consulting affected groups as the proposal is further developed. We appreciate the difficulty of accommodating all groups and their interests, but reiterate that safety and accessibility for all should remain paramount in the ministry’s consideration."
We look forward to the Ministry taking the report seriously and working with affected groups to come up with proposals that improve safety for micromobility device riders without compromising the safety of pedestrians on footpaths.
16 February 2021