Transport for London (TfL) has begun prosecuting passengers caught flouting its ban on bringing e-scooters onto London’s public transport network. Fines of up to £1,000 can be imposed with at least 10 people having been brought before a magistrate.
TfL imposed an e-scooter ban across its entire public transport network in December following a number of fires on its premises and services. A review concluded that these were caused by defective lithium-ion batteries that ruptured without warning.
The London Evening Standard reports that fines of £220 are generally being imposed.
Folding e-bikes are still permitted, the argument being that they are generally subject to better manufacturing standards with batteries positioned in a place where they are less likely to suffer damage.
One of those charged – Thomas Hemsworth from Esher – complained that he had been unaware of the ban when he was caught taking an e-scooter on the tram from Mitcham to Wimbledon.
“To be labelled a criminal for making an honest accident such as this is disgusting,” he said.
“A simple heads up by any TfL staff would have been fine. Like I say, bully tactics. I’ve seen many people take electric scooters on the tram and unfolded bicycles so clearly your signs aren’t clear enough.”
Hemsworth’s case was assessed by a magistrate and after pleading guilty, he was ordered to pay a £40 fine, as well as £50 costs, and a £34 victim surcharge.
Another passenger, Kye Mitchell from Hackney, was fined £220 with £200 costs and a £34 victim surcharge after arriving at Baker Street station with an e-scooter.
“At 11.52am I was standing on the unpaid side of the barriers when I observed a male passenger who I now know to be Mr Kye Mitchell enter through the barriers while in possession of an e-scooter,” TfL officer Abdellatif Naili wrote in a witness statement.
“I heard the customer service assistant inform Mr Mitchell that e-scooters were prohibited to be taken on the network but he ignored him.
“I then approached Mr Mitchell and I identified myself and I informed him that e-scooters were not allowed on the network and that he was now in breach of the TfL byelaws.”
Mitchell claimed he had never been told that e-scooters were banned and said that he used his on the network all the time.