'They appear out of nowhere': Woman and guide dog nearly hit by e-scooters on pavement

Mandy Pike from Southampton with guide dog Fable
Mandy Pike from Southampton with guide dog Fable. Credit: ITV News Meridian

A partially sighted woman who was nearly hit by two e-scooters says it is 'scary' how fast they are being ridden on pavements.

Mandy Pike, from Southampton, says she had a close shave after the vehicles "came out of nowhere" as she was walking with her guide dog Fable.

She told ITV Meridian that e-scooter riders should consider other people's safety, as she fears people could get hurt.

Mandy said: ''They were moving so fast, it was quite scary. It definitely shocked me. And they were on either side of us really quite close.

"I turned round and just managed to spot them for a couple of seconds before they disappeared. They were moving at top speed."

  • Mandy speaks to ITV Meridian:

Mandy does not know if the e-scooters were private ones, which can only be used on private land with the owners' permission.

Currently, rental e-scooters can be hired in Southampton as part of a UK trial scheme which is also taking place in Canterbury, Oxford and Portsmouth. These are not allowed on the pavement.

Mandy said the narrow miss left her spooked.

She added: "They're not visible, they're fast. They don't usually have any kind of high-vis clothing. Bikes often have bells that can alert you.

"There's no sound (with e-scooters), so they just appear out of nowhere really - which is the scary bit."

  • Watch an e-scooter crash test:

E-scooter crash tests have shown collisions can cause fatal injuries at just 15.5mph.

The research was carried out by the charity Guide Dogs after a survey revealed that more than half of visually impaired people have had a negative experience with an e-scooter.

Guide Dogs conducted the research because 15.5mph is the legal speed cap of government hire schemes.

The charity wants to see toughened enforcement and regulations brought in.

  • Clive Wood, Guide Dogs:

Clive, who works at the charity, says it is also concerned about the impact e-scooter are having on working dogs and their dogs in training.

He said: "We are now having to look at that and what we can do to mitigate for e-scooters. And that's where we have the real concern.

"That there's a great number of privately owned e-scooters out there, which should not be used on public lands."

Rental e-scooters

In a statement, Southampton City council said: "Private e-scooters remain illegal on public land and the police are stopping riders and confiscating vehicles across the city.

"The council continues to support Hampshire Constabulary in addressing the illegal use of private e-scooters around Southampton. The Voi rental e-scooter scheme is the only legal and safe way to ride an e-scooter in our city."

Rental e-scooters can be used on roads in some trial areas

In response to Mandy's incident, Councillor Jeremy Moulton, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Growth said: “We are sorry to hear of this incident.  We continue to work closely with residents and community groups in our city to gather insight and feedback to our e-scooter trial. 

"Voi riders receive in-app safety messages showing riding rules as well as regular opportunities for in-person and online training to encourage safe riding. If someone witnesses the misuse of a Voi e-scooter, including riding on the pavement, they can report it directly to Voi."

A Department for Transport spokesperson told us safety would always be the top priority and the trials would help better understand the impact of e-scooters on public spaces and it would continue to engage with vulnerable road user groups to help shape the rules.