The New South Wales government will no longer be running e-scooter trials in Sydney. Why? Transport Minister Andrew Constance said he was “not in the mood” for e-scooters on the streets.
As the SMH points out, the end of the proposed trial comes after the The National Transport Commission (NTC) published a large report regarding the use of e-scooters back in August, 2020.
The group spent a year and a half on the document and eventually recommended that e-scooters should be allowed on footpaths but with a capped speed of 10km/h. It also recommended they be allowed on bike paths and residential streets at a speed of up to 25km/h.
Still, the recommendations were not enough to convince Constance, who called e-scooters a “disaster”.
“People getting killed, e-scooters being left up trees, e-scooters littering parks and footpaths, people falling over them,” Constance said last week during budget estimates.
“The point is that I am not entertaining this. Our focus has been, particularly during COVID, to get people to ride a bike or walk. I am not in the mood for running e-scooter trials at a time like this.”
E-Scooter legislation is still messy
Part of the reason for the lengthy report process was due to the outdated legislation regarding different types of transport, like e-scooters.
In fact, it differs from state-to-state, making the legislation and use of e-scooters across the country wildly different.
For example, Queensland has far more robust allowances than NSW, SA and WA. This is why Brisbane was one of the first Australian cities to conduct e-scooter trials in the city.
This is where things stood as of 2019:
- New South Wales: private property only.
- South Australia: private property only.
- Western Australia: private property only.
- Victoria: e-scooters below 200-watts can be ridden in some public spaces up to 10km/h.
- Tasmania: e-scooters below 200-watts can be ridden in some public spaces up to 10km/h.
- Australian Capital Territory: e-scooters below 200-watts can be ridden in some public spaces up to 10km/h.
- Northern Territory: e-scooters below 200-watts can be ridden in some public spaces up to 10km/h.
- Queensland: e-scooters above 200 watts can be ridden publicly on the street, on footpaths and in bike lanes at over 10km/h.
According to the SMH, the NTC plans on tabling draft state and territory legislation regarding e-scooters in May. However, it remains to be seen if anything will actually change.