E-scooters were involved in 258 collisions in London in the first six months of 2021 compared with just nine during the whole of 2018, new figures show.
The Metropolitan Police data obtained by Labour’s London Assembly policing and crime spokesman Unmesh Desai also revealed there were just 38 incidents in 2019, rising to 266 in 2020.
Private e-scooters cannot legally be used in the UK except on private land but are a common sight on roads and pavements in urban areas.
Owners who want to retrieve e-scooters seized by police in the capital must pay a £150 fee plus a £10 per day storage charge, according to Mr Desai.
Some 3,637 privately-owned e-scooters were seized by the Metropolitan Police between January and November 2021.
The use of illegal e-scooters on our roads and pavements is putting Londoners at riskUnmesh Desai, London Assembly
Dozens of legalised e-scooter rental schemes have been launched in towns and cities across Britain since July 2020 as part of Government trials, including in London in June 2021.
These involve several safety measures, such as maximum speed limits and automatic lights.
Transport for London (TfL) banned private e-scooters on its network last month after one burst into flames on the Underground at Parsons Green Tube station.
Mr Desai, who obtained the figures in response to a question to London Mayor Sadiq Khan, said: “The use of illegal e-scooters on our roads and pavements is putting Londoners at risk of significant harm, especially the most vulnerable in our communities such as people with limited mobility, visual impairments and hearing loss.
“Whilst it is concerning that these figures are likely to be just the tip of the iceberg, it has been encouraging to see the scale of enforcement action taken by TfL and the Met Police so far.
“My message to Londoners is that the only legal way to use an e-scooter in the capital is through the trial being run by TfL and London councils in certain boroughs.”
– A 74-year-old e-scooter rider was killed on New Year’s Day when he crashed into two parked cars in Tameside, Greater Manchester,