Pedestrian group wants e-scooters off the footpath

Pedestrian advocates are calling for a separate space for e-scooters and e-bikes so they don't threaten the safety of walkers.

The Government is due to release its Accessible Streets package on Monday, aiming to "increase the safety and accessibility of our footpaths and streets and encourage active modes of transport", according to the Ministry of Transport.

Footpaths4Feet convenor Chris Teo-Sherrell says it's important to keep footpaths for people on foot and in wheelchairs.

"The idea that you can regulate e-scooters and the like and people obey the rules is pretty naive. We don't have a police force that could enforce it."

The group's recommendations include: 

  • have protected space for e-scooters and other micro-mobility devices
  • where micro-mobility devices and motor vehicles share road, lower speed limits to 30km/h
  • micro-mobility devices capable of only low speeds should be regulated as bicycles, while those capable of higher speeds should be regulated as mopeds
  • eliminate incentives for users of rental micro-mobility devices - like Jump and Lime - to speed by requiring charging by distance, rather than time.

Teo-Sherrell says it's about making safe spaces for people on foot and wheelchairs.

"To make safe spaces for micro-mobility - e-scooters, skateboarders and even bicycles."

He says bollards could be put in to keep pedestrians safe. 

"Footpaths4Feet has repeatedly expressed its concern to the Government about the negative effects on pedestrians and disabled people of having e-scooters and other vehicles on footpaths. We hope it has taken heed and won't be suggesting anything stupid in this package."