Why are rail companies banning e-scooters on trains?

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A further six rail companies have banned e-scooters on their trains and platforms - all citing concerns around safety.

South Western Railway, Southeastern, Southern Rail, Thameslink, Gatwick Express and Scotrail made the move on Thursday, while Avanti West Coast, LNER, Northern, TransPennine Express and Transport for London (TfL) already have a ban in place.

Here are the reasons behind the ban.

Are e-scooter batteries dangerous?

E-scooters run on lithium ion batteries. If the batteries are dodgy, they can explode and catch fire.

Just last week, the London Fire Brigade (LFB) released footage of an e-scooter bursting into flames in a kitchen.

Footage from the LFB shows an e-scooter exploding

The brigade said it has dealt with over 60 e-bike and e-scooter fires this year.

Rail companies argue that if e-scooter fires were to happen on their trains, there could be terrible consequences.

What does the rail ban include?

As well as e-scooters, the ban covers e-skateboards, e-unicycles and hoverboards.

Are e-scooter safety fears limited to trains?

No. People in Paris voted to banish e-scooters due to a rising number of deaths and injuries on the road.

In a referendum, 89% of those who voted were against the vehicles.

In the UK, 12 people, including a pedestrian, died in e-scooter crashes last year.

Private e-scooters cannot be legally ridden on roads or pavements in the UK but have become a common sight, particularly in urban areas.

Trials of rental e-scooters on roads in dozens of towns and cities across England are ongoing.

12 people died in incidents involving e-scooters last year. Credit: PA Images

Do e-scooters have any benefits?

Those that make and use the electric vehicles say they're an efficient, cheap and environmentally-friendly way to get around.

Rideables.org, an organisation that advocates for electronic transportation, says e-scooters have "obvious" advantages.

These include "reduced pollution and traffic, cheaper transport for those who don’t need a car and reduced journey times when users are not stuck in traffic", Rideables.org says.

However, last month transport minister Jesse Norman told the Commons’ Transport Select Committee that e-scooter and e-bike fires are “an issue of serious concern” and the government is “working hard on it”.

How can the risk of e-scooter explosions be reduced?

Users of e-scooters and e-bikes are advised to allow their batteries to cool down before recharging them, and to buy chargers and batteries from reputable sellers.

LFB also urged people to fit smoke alarms in areas where charging happens indoors.

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