Lime scooters to replace Covid-19 pandemic
If you’ve ever visited a European city such as Paris or Berlin, you’ll have noticed how e-scooters dominate the pavements and roads. These ‘Limes’ offer a unique way for sight-seers to get around for fun. Although, they work less well as a means to get home after a heavy night of bar-crawling as they’ll leave you with a never-ending bill and a broken collar bone.
For ordinary residents, the e-scooters are a less welcome feature of the tourism industry. Although you’re not meant to take them into pedestrian zones and busy roads people frequently do, resulting in some pretty gnarly accidents.
Last year plans to allow rent-a-scooters on UK roads were scrapped after a woman was killed on her e-scooter in an accident in London, and since their global introduction 2 years ago e-scooters have caused a total of 29 deaths. Not many, when compared to the thousands of deaths involving cars and motorbikes, quite a lot considering their average speed is that of a mild jog.
But post-lockdown the UK government wants to ‘build back greener’ and have allowed the e-scooters to be trialled in some cities for a twelve-month period. So, cyclists should prepare to be overtaken by yet more smug people who are determined to get from A to B with zero exercise involved.
But electronic scooters aren’t necessarily a ‘green’ alternative to driving, taking the bus or train. Research by North Carolina State University found that, per mile travelled, e-scooters produce 202g of carbon dioxide when manufacturing, the fact that their lifetime is only 7 minutes, and recharging needs are considered. This makes them, in the long-run at least, far less environmentally friendly than taking the bus, cycling or, heaven forbid, actually walking.
What’s more, the scooters themselves often make for a bit of an eyesore when they are dumped inconveniently in the middle of a public walkway or just, you know, thrown into a nearby river. In the city of Lyon alone, more than 100 e-scooters were fished out of the Rhône in a single clean up operation. A similar thing could happen in London’s Thames… but this is unlikely as there’s no one on earth brave enough to clean it.
The devices will be limited at 15mph, which could be reduced when they enter mass-use. The trial starts on 4th July in some English counties (not London yet), if they prove successful the UK too can rejoice in becoming one big giant scooter dumping park.