We wanted to write to you with an update on progress.
After launching the ESDF in July, we successfully hit our funding target and raised over £11,000 with CrowdJustice. This will pay for the first phase of our legal campaign to challenge the basis of the Police crackdown on private e-scooter riders.
Identifying the Problem:
The Police crackdown has been the catalyst for a considerable amount of media attention on e-scooter use. Much of this coverage has been subject to negative bias which has been largely unchecked. Unfortunately, the negative framing of e-scooters in the UK has informed Government decision making. Off the record, Department for Transport representatives have confirmed that the trials will be extended at least until mid-2022 with no chance of regulatory change until 2023.
More worryingly, private e-scooter riders are perceived by the DfT to be ‘the problem’. The uncomfortable truth is that most law abiding, responsible e-scooter riders have been forced back into cars and other alternatives as they feel unable to risk their driving licences. However, many people simply do not have access to these alternatives due to working unsociable hours or social economic concerns. Also, many younger people are disillusioned with what they perceive to be an unjust and discriminatory use of the law. These groups of people therefore chose to ignore the law, thereby setting a dangerous precedent.
The Police crackdown has indirectly targeted the following groups:
- Low paid workers including many key workers
- The unemployed
- Shift workers with unsociable hours
- Ethnic and immigrant minorities who are disproportionately represented in the above categories.
- Young people
- Disability groups who use e-scooters as mobility aids
Our conversation with the DfT revealed that the Government will not consider legalising the use of e-scooters until such a time that the public perception problem is solved. This especially applies to private scooter use. Therefore, the primary goal of the ESDF and any other pressure group advocating for PLEV regulation, must be to inform and educate the public who have been subjected to a well-funded and organised smear campaign against the introduction of e-scooters and micromobility. In short, we need to start winning the PR war.
Progress so Far:
Since reaching our funding goal, we have been busy laying the foundations for the ESDF to ensure that it represents all stakeholders. We are hoping to team up with Ridables and other pressure groups to ensure a coupling of effort and consistent messaging. Building a campaign team has also been a priority so we can cover more ground as we enter the second phase.
BSB Solicitors is now working on strategy with us and building a case against the crackdown. We anticipate that this process will take us through September and we hope to present the results of this soon after. Once we are clear on what the likely outcome will be should we proceed through the courts, we will focus the campaign accordingly.
What Can You Do?
If you have been the victim of the crackdown, we would like to hear from you. Please send a brief email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information:
- Name, Date of Birth, Occupation
- Location and date of alleged offence
- Model of PLEV (e-scooter etc) you were riding
- Description of offence and brief description of what happened
- What have you been charged with and at what stage is the prosecution at
We are looking to recruit volunteers for the campaign team. If you have any social media and promotion skills that you believe will be helpful, please get in touch with us!