Rail operators move to ban e-scooters from stations and trains

Thameslink and Southern Rail, who operate the majority of services through East Croydon, Norwood Junction, Purley and the Coulsdon stations, are to ban e-scooters across its stations and trains from next Thursday, June 1.

Banned: rail operators have moved to stop e-scooters on trains and stations from June 1

Under the new restrictions, e-skateboards, hoverboards and e-unicycles will also be banned on Southern and Thameslink trains and stations.

South Western Railway and Southeastern have also announced similar bans.

The rail operators all state that their bans on such vehicles are “due to known safety risks with the batteries”. The London Fire Brigade, which has been called out to a number of domestic fires caused by exploding batteries on e-scooters and similar devices, provided advice that led to the ban.

E-bicycles and mobility scooters will not be affected by the rail operators’ ban.

Thameslink and Southern, who are both operated by Govia Thameslink Railway, have issued similar advice on their websites and social media.

The rail operators have decided to take action because the Government has failed to legislate.

“Under advice from the Rail Delivery Group and following recommendations by the Rail Safety Standards Board and London Fire Brigade, our safety team along with many other rail companies have carried out a review of the risks of these items and decided they should be banned,” the message on the Thameslink website says.

“This is because of the limited regulation around the lithium-ion battery which has the potential to cause harm should it malfunction.”

New move: the rail operators are acting because the Government has failed to do so

The rail operators won’t even allow you to store your e-scooter with its dodgy battery at their stations while you travel. And you certainly cannot charge the battery there. “As they are not safe to have on our stations, we don’t allow them in our storage facilities.

“Even if the battery is removed and carried separately, they are still not permitted due to the risks of the battery malfunctioning and causing a fire.

“The companies that provide rail replacement buses have also banned these due to safety concerns. This means you are unable to take these on buses that run during engineering work or disruption.”

In their statement, South Western said, “While the chances of a fire are small, there have been recent incidents of e-scooters catching fire on other forms of public transport.”

E-bikes are not covered by the ban and are allowed on most trains and stations because they are legal to use and are regulated to a legal minimum Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles (EAPC) standard. “E-scooters are not subject to the same regulation, which makes them a higher, unregulated risk,” the rail operators say.

“Non-electric scooters are allowed on trains as before, as are powered mobility scooters and aids which comply with mobility scooter guidance.”

Petrol-powered scooters and mopeds remain banned from trains and stations due to their own fire risks.

There has been a ban on e-scooters, folded or otherwise, on Transport for London services – including Croydon trams, the Tube, London Overground and stations – since 2021. Even e-scooters hired through TfL are not allowed on its buses, trains, tubes or trams.

“This safety step came after defective lithium-ion batteries in privately-owned e-scooters and e-unicycles caused fires on our network,” TfL confirmed to Inside Croydon today.

For Thameslink’s guidance on mobility aid scooters, click here.

For their policies on taking bicycles and manual scooters on to trains and stations, click here.

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3 Responses to Rail operators move to ban e-scooters from stations and trains

  1. Ben Hart says:

    The laws surrounding e-scooters are such a mess, suspect this will be treated like their “illegal to use on public roads/pavements” nature and just be ignored by their users

  2. Good luck enforcing this. In my experience e-scooter riders are young and confrontational. I hope staff get a pay rise to deal with these people and self-defence training.

  3. Seeing how this things catch fire so easily, you’d expect the government to stop them being imported. Trouble is, the Tories put free-market economics and private profits ahead of public safety.

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