Profit pushes pedestrians aside: e-scooters to stay on footpaths

Living Streets Aotearoa is disgusted that a public agency has put the interests of private companies ahead of the public interest. Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency has approved the renewal of the E-scooters (Declaration not to be motor vehicles) Gazette Notice for a further 5 years exactly as it has been since 2018.

We wonder why Waka Kotahi (NZTA) bothered to consult when it has apparently ignored:

- the reality that e-scooters ridden and dumped on footpaths discourage people from walking because so many e-scooters are ridden and parked inconsiderately and contrary to the rules

- the large numbers of people who opposed the renewal

- the growing evidence that e-scooters generally increase the carbon emissions from land transport systems (because they displace walking, riding and public transport journeys much more than they replace car journeys)

- the whopping ACC cost of injury accidents involving e-scooters, to which the companies seeking profit from hiring out e-scooters pay nothing

- the special obligation it has as a Government Agency to consider the interests of disabled people, including the added challenge that e-scooters pose for blind and mobility-impaired people

- the inability or unwillingess of local authorities to control e-scooter user behaviour.

Living Streets Aotearoa provided a range of possible ways that e-scooters users and pedestrians could each be provided for, but NZTA has dismissed those ideas.

The only glimmer of hope is Waka Kotahi’s commitment to improve, over the coming 12 months, the regulations concerning the use of e-scooters. We hope this isn’t just another empty promise intended to assuage the insult its decision gives to pedestrians.

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Living Streets Aotearoa is the New Zealand organisation for people on foot, promoting walking-friendly communities. We are a nationwide organisation with local branches and affiliates throughout New Zealand.

We want more people walking and enjoying public spaces be they young or old, fast or slow, whether walking, sitting, commuting, shopping, between appointments, or out on the streets for exercise, for leisure or for pleasure.

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