South Western Railway Acts to Ban E-scooters

Move made due to concerns about the fire risk they present

An e-scooter caused this fire on a District Line train. Picture: Twitter

May 27, 2023

South Western Railway (SWR) has announced that e-scooters will be banned from all its trains and stations from the beginning of next month.

The company will follow other train operators in forbidding e-scooters from being taken aboard its services from Thursday 1 June with the restrictions including e-unicycles, e-skateboards and hoverboards.

There will also be a ban on charging these devices on SWR property and they will not be accepted into lost property.

The ban does not include e-bikes or electric wheelchairs and mobility scooters for those with accessibility needs.

The move comes after several incidents in which e-scooters were blamed for starting fires on board trains. They are believed to pose an extra fire risk due to the potential of their lithium-ion batteries overheating. E-bikes are regulated to a higher standard than e-scooters and therefore it is believed they present less risk.

Other train operators have already made the decision to impose similar bans.

Jane Lupson, SWR’s Head of Safety, said, “Reports of incidents involving e-scooters catching fire on National Rail services or infrastructure are increasing and the potential risk that they pose is not acceptable to our customers and colleagues.

“After some consideration, and in line with other partners in the rail industry, we will be banning e-scooters on our trains and at our stations from Thursday 1 June.

“We understand that these devices are popular, but the safety of our customers and staff is our number one priority, so until greater regulation and testing can be brought in to ensure the safety of those travelling on trains, e-scooters will remain banned.”

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