A Slough man has accused the town’s e-scooter operator, Neuron Mobility, of lying about the GPS technology used to combat inconsiderate parking. Jaspal Dhariwal says he regularly sees hire scooters left ‘cluttering’ pavements and doesn’t believe the technology exists.
Dhariwal has launched a petition urging the government to cancel all e-scooter trials due to his concerns.
He told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “On my road, the pavement is not wide and also has other obstructions such as trees and lampposts, signage etc. And my dad is a wheelchair user and if I took him out then I would have been forced into the road.”
When Dhariwal complained about this to the council and Neuron, he was told that the firm’s GPS system meant it would collect any scooter identified as being in a no-go zone or blocking a pavement. However, he does not believe this technology exists.
Parking guidelines on Neuron’s website state that e-scooters must not be parked less than 75cm from the kerb or where they obstruct others.
They must be parked in groups of five or fewer and away from junctions.
Certain areas are also designated as no-parking zones within the Neuron app.
Dhariwal is of the opinion that being as they are motorised vehicles, e-scooters should be parked on the street and not the pavement. “The problem with parking bays on pavements is that it already restricts space for pedestrians, affects social distancing [and] encourages users to not dismount onto the road.”
In a joint statement, a spokesperson for Neuron and Slough Borough Council confirmed the e-scooters do have geofencing, which is used to implement no-go zones and no-parking zones as well as designated parking areas.
In addition to this, all of the e-scooters have a topple detection feature that uses GPS to alert operations teams if they have been left on their side.
GPS is also used to help identify anyone “behaving irresponsibly” with regards to parking as well as to reposition e-scooters where they are most needed.
The spokesperson added: “We prioritise reports of bad parking and rectify the issues as quickly as possible. The operations teams work around the clock repositioning e-scooters safely and moving them to areas where they are needed most.
“Members of the public can report any issues with riding and parking by contacting Neuron’s Customer Support team, via the Neuron app or by phone and email – the details can be found on Neuron’s website and on the e-scooters.”