Voi scooters STILL blocking Northampton pavements even after death of 75-year-old man

Scooter parking issues across the town (pictured) still exist after 'accidental' death of elderly man

Friday, 23rd April 2021, 4:23 pm
Updated Friday, 23rd April 2021, 4:59 pm
Fish Street
Fish Street

This newspaper has asked Voi Scooters to explain why there are STILL badly parked, hazardous e-scooters dotted around the town following the death of an elderly man in Kingsthorpe and what the company was doing about it.

The issue of badly parked Voi Scooters was raised after the death of Mr Philip Jones, 75, who died of his injuries following an incident where he tried to move a Voi e-scooter out of his way while in a mobility scooter because he could not get past. The coroner ruled his death as 'accidental'.

This Chron reporter was in the town centre on Wednesday (April 24) and pictured numerous e-scooters that were poorly 'parked', some were 'parked' right next to busy roads, which is the same issue Mr Jones faced before his untimely death.

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St Giles' Street

This is what Voi said in response to the Chron's questions:

After Mr Philip Jones died trying to move one of Voi's scooters out of his way, what would you say to the same issues still existing?

Voi said: "Safety and accessibility are a top priority for Voi. We have been working alongside organisations such as the Royal National Institute of Blind People and Open Inclusion to consider the needs of vulnerable users, particularly those with visual or mobility impairments, children and the elderly. "

What are Voi's thoughts on how the scooters in the photos have been left?

Guildhall Road

"In Northampton there are no mandatory parking areas. This offers users more flexibility to start and end their journeys. However, there are incentivised parking areas where users are encouraged to park their scooters in exchange for credits that they can use to ride.

"These areas were decided by the former Northamptonshire County Council in close collaboration with Voi taking into account the safety of riders, pedestrians and other road users.

"In terms of our guidelines for good parking, we educate and inform and advise our users to be considerate and think before they park, ensuring the vehicle is not causing a nuisance to other people, particularly those with visual or mobility impairments, children or the elderly.

"E-scooters should never be parked lying down on the floor or in a way that is obstructing the pavement and causing an obstacle to pedestrians, strollers or wheelchairs."

Fish Street

The company says the scooters should 'never' be parked lying down on the floor or obstructing the pavement but the reality is this is happening all across the town.

Has there been any thought of the blind or disabled when launching this project in the town?

Voi said: "We’ve been working alongside organisations such as the Royal National Institute of Blind People, and we are now taking the first steps to implement the organisation’s expertise and recommendations to make our e-scooter pilot programs safer for pedestrians with sight loss.

"Recommendations look at key elements, such as parking, rider education and training, e-scooter sound alerts, and ensuring e-scooters are kept off pavements and pedestrianised areas."

St Giles' Street

There are only four racks in Northampton, this doesn't look like it's enough. When are the other racks coming in?

"Recently we started to install parking racks in Northampton and more are planned to be installed in the upcoming months. The deployment of these first parking racks in Northampton is another positive step towards promoting responsible parking, a key focus for Voi and the West Northamptonshire Council."

Voi told the Chron last week that 97% of riders park in 'designated zones', can you provide a list of all the designated zones in Northampton.

Voi said: "You can see all the incentivised parking areas here."

The company has recently introduced the new compulsory ‘end of ride’ photo which requires users to take and submit a photo of their parked scooter after each ride, encouraging them to park their scooter correctly.