New menace on the towpaths

Published: Tuesday, 17 August 2021

A WOMAN struck by an electric scooter nearly drowned after being knocked off the towpath into the Regent's Canal.

The 28 years old teacher was walking the Regent's Canal towpath when she was struck from behind by an electric scooter rider who disappeared leaving her struggling in the water.

Eventually pulled out

Unable to get out she attempted to swim to a nearby moored boat, but the weight of her rucksack and clothes prevented her and it was only when someone heard her cries that she was eventually pulled out.
She was taken to hospital and treated for shock and given a tetanus jab and tested for Weil's disease, the potentially deadly infection carried in rats' urine which contaminates canal water and rivers.

There was a further report of a girl knocked into the canal by someone on an electric scooter, but no further details.

A recent relaxation of the laws of electric scooter riding has left literally thousands able to rent the battery powered cycles with many taking to the towpaths creating a storm of protests as the silent machines hurtle along by the waterways.

In Liverpool alone it was reported that over 1,000 people were barred from using the scooters in the city's 'green' trial scheme, their causing chaos and many accidents, with them driven by drunks and even children as no licence is required.

Taking to the towpaths

Over 50 other cities and towns have started the scheme with many taking to the towpaths, as they are of course free from any traffic, but causing mayhem to pedestrians and boaters with their activities.

These rental e-scooters were made legal on roads in Britain this summer in an attempt to ease pressure on public transport during the coronavirus crisis, but those actually purchasing them 'soup' them up, increasing their capped 15.5mph to around 20mph, and with no rules to wear helmets.

A moorer on the Regent's, Matthew Channing, told Mail Online:

Complete death trap

"The path is already too narrow for pedestrians and cyclists but it's become a complete death-trap with these souped-up electric scooters that whizz along. It's a real blight along the towpath. The worst part is that they're so quiet that no one can hear them coming so it doesn't surprise me that people are getting knocked into the water."

Officially the powered scooters are not allowed on footpaths.