Hygienic movement for key workers is needed NOW – suspend electric scooter penalties for six monthsMarch 27th 2020
There’s no question that the safe movement and maintained health of the UK’s key workers and volunteers is absolutely essential in the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Following the Government’s recent positive news about consultation on electric scooter UK legalisation, real hope was stoked for this game-changing method of transport. However, the planned trials are unlikely to start for at least six months and won’t take place in some major cities – including London where we’ve already seen the continued congestion on the Underground.
In these unprecedented times action needs to be taken now to free up this hygiene-friendly transport solution for key workers and NHS volunteers.
Using the new Coronavirus Act 2020, the Government should suspend all police fines and penalties for key workers and volunteers using electric scooters immediately, for a period of six months. This will allow them to get to work while successfully social distancing.
As a means of hygienic transport, e-scooters are fantastic. They create space around our key workers, while providing them with a little more time outside in the fresh air, instead of being stuck indoors on public transport before/after long working days. Add in the undoubted environmental benefits of e-scooter use versus car use, and it’s a win-win-win for our current national (and global) crises.
The Government has the power under its new emergency legislation to suspend all police fines and penalties for key workers and volunteers using electric scooters. This should be done immediately, for a period of six months. We have written to MPs and Mayors in the UK making this proposal.
Importantly, with the combined restrictions of social distancing and lockdown, there is actually a reduced availability of public transport, as seen with the partial closures of the London Underground service. That makes it even more unsuitable as a means of commuting for key workers, whose safe movement is vital.
- ‘There is a link between public transport use and infectious diseases transmission’1
- Close contact and touching shared surfaces are virtually unavoidable at peak times
- Public transport therefore increases risk of virus contraction and spread amongst key workers
Many key workers without a car will struggle to get to work and maintain effective social distancing. E-scooters represent a very affordable and hygienic way to travel.
It has been widely reported that in China, medical professionals were travelling to, and around, hospital sites by e-scooter at the peak of their outbreak and lockdown period to maintain social distancing. The delayed legalisation of e-scooters mean that our medical professionals can’t take advantage of the same transport technology.
To combat this, the Government should temporarily suspend all fines and penalties in the UK for key workers and volunteers using e-scooters, for a period of six months during the COVID-19 crisis.
If you agree with us, help spread the message using the hashtag #protectourkeyworkers
1 BMC Environmental Health article: Analysing the link between public transport use and airborne transmission: mobility and contagion in the London underground