'I was faced with a 'plague' of electric scooters left abandoned in Northampton town centre'

'I can only imagine the risk and harm caused to pedestrians by numerous unsociable morons'

By Mike Billingham
Thursday, 17th September 2020, 2:43 pm
Updated Friday, 18th September 2020, 7:50 am
Library picture
Library picture

Letter to the editor

Having been required to quarantine for the last two weeks, following my previous two weeks holiday in France, I made the mistake early this Sunday morning of getting a bit of much-needed exercise, by walking from Abington Park to Northampton town centre!

Complete with face-covering protection against Covid, I made my way along the litter-strewn Wellingborough Road, covered in cigarette buts, half-eaten food containers, wrappers, cans, and bottles simply discarded outside the numerous pubs, cafes and fast food establishments.

Towards Abington Square, where a number of food shops were beginning to open up and displaying their fresh foods on the same streets where, previous night revellers, had been vomiting and urinating as they spilled out of the pubs in their drunken stupor.

Making my way down Abington Street passing all of the closed down stores, the doorways being used to accommodate rough sleepers and their worldly goods of sleeping bags, blankets, cardboard and array of their own personal, food containers, beer cans and cider bottles and where the stench of urine, despite the face covering, was now filling my nostrils.

I was somewhat concerned to be confronted on my journey by what seemed to be a “plague” of electric scooters simply abandoned in the middle of footpaths and pedestrian areas!

I inquired with a passing traffic warden, who somewhat despondent, told me about this so-called “business initiative” that the county council was trialling, where you could go on-line, download the app and jump on and off these scooters whenever and wherever you like.

Apparently these “dockless” scooters are not allowed to be used on the path, but could not be kept on the road.

He had witnessed them being used on the path but had no power to take any action, this being a matter for the police, who, have done little to deter similar unlawful use by cyclists!

I can fully appreciate why anyone finding themselves in Northampton town centre would want to find the fastest way out.

I can only imagine, however, the additional risk and alarm that will be caused to unsuspecting pedestrians, especially those with mobility, hearing or sight difficulties, by numerous unsociable morons who will think nothing of ignoring the law as they zoom along our pavements.