Following coverage in The Leader Newspaper leading to dozens of local complaints, the Orihuela Policia Local has removed over 100 e-scooters found blocking driveways, abandoned on pedestrian crossings or generally badly parked in areas where they are causing traffic problems.
Two companies currently provide the unregulated service although the Council says that it expects it to be resolved in the coming days
Electric scooters roam freely in Orihuela Costa and, as anticipated, with the arrival of summer, their use has increased enormously, especially those that are rented for just a few cents through a mobile application.
While the companies that provide the service can be seen driving around, picking their scooters up and removing them to acknowledged hire stations, all too many are still to be found abandoned on the ground, in the middle of pavements, in front of urbanisation gates, on pedestrian crossings and in other places where they cause traffic problems, making it difficult for pedestrians to pass .
They are also regularly seen being driven around irresponsibly, or even dangerously, on areas where they are prohibited causing a multitude of complaints and general discomfort due to road insecurity.
As such the Local Police is now beginning to act by increasing control and surveillance to the point that agents have removed more than 100 scooters in the last few days.
The Councillor for Security, Antonio Sánchez, has acknowledged that “in recent weeks the situation has become unsustainable”, despite the fact that in May he insisted that the urban fabric of the Orihuela Costa, with it’s wide avenues and low buildings, allows scooters to be parked without posing a significant problem for residents.
Now, however, the City Council has finally proposed measures to minimize the occupation of public thoroughfares by e-scooters, with Sánchez saying that conversations are being accelerated with the two companies that provide the service to regularise the activity, adding that he hopes that everything can be regularised next week.
The councillor also stated that the service could be very beneficial in an area such as the coast, which has a lack of transport services, particularly with taxis and buses. He added that many of the problems, such as reckless driving or abandoning the scooters on public roads, “depend on the good will of the user “, for which he has appealed for responsibility and a better civic attitude, in addition to underlining that the companies themselves are taking measures to sanction those who leave the e-scooters dangerously parked.
The mobility ordinance, which regulates the use of e-scooters, was agreed by the council last November, however, it still awaits final approval, no doubt locked in the bottom of an official’s drawer.
Meanwhile the Cabo Roig and Lomas Neighborhood Association has welcomed it is a means of transport for the future, as it is sustainable, economical and practical. For this reason, they say, “it is necessary for the City Council to legalise this activity urgently.”
“In this way, the companies that provide this activity can be required to have the necessary civil liability insurance that covers material and personal damage in the event of an accident and to identify the users, even requiring them to deposit a bond in case of possible sanctions for non-compliance with traffic or other regulations .