A year-long trial of electric scooters has been suspended after just five days because people were riding them on pavements.
Some 200 e-scooters were deployed in the Midlands, in the UK's biggest trial of its kind, on Thursday, but Coventry City Council has “paused” the scheme amid reports they were being used in pedestrianised areas.
The government legalised e-scooters in July as part of emergency measures to give people more transport options during the coronavirus pandemic, when public transport networks were running at reduced capacity.
Coventry residents have reported the scooters being ridden on pavements, in the city centre, travelling the wrong way down roads and near misses with members of the public.
A Council spokesman said: “The initial take-up has been encouraging but we need to ensure that the safety of all people using the city centre is protected and that the e-scooters are used in the proper way, hence our decision to pause the pilot until systems are improved.”
Sarah Gayton, a campaigner for the National Federation for the Blind, said she is relieved by the council's action but wants the e-scooters to "disappear from the UK".
"I was absolutely shocked to see riders going on the pavement, whizzing around, going the wrong way, scooters discarded all over the city centre," she said.
A spokesman for Voi, the electric scooter company who operate the devices used in Coventry, said: “While we regret the pause to our service, we reiterate our desire and willingness to work with all local stakeholders to deliver a safe and successful trial that meets the council's objectives and confirms micromobility as a sustainable, safe and attractive mode for Coventry’s citizens.”