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By Chamber Press Office, 23 August 2019
Electric scooters have the potential to significantly improve how people can move around Dublin, according to Dublin Chamber.
The Chamber was reacting to the news that the Road Safety Authority has recommended to Government that e-scooters be made legal in Ireland.
The Chamber, one of the main proponents of e-scooters, has welcomed the overall recommendation by the RSA.
However, the Chamber has expressed concern over the idea of introducing a licencing requirement for e-scooters. The Chamber noted that licencing is not a standard in other cities abroad and has cautioned that such a move would significantly increase the cost and act as a barrier to take-up.
According to Dublin Chamber's Head of Communications Graeme McQueen: "We're encouraged to hear that the RSA’s research has identified the huge number of positives that e-scooters can bring to Dublin and Ireland’s other cities. We're seeing a big demand from workers in Dublin looking to use electric powered scooters.
“The idea of a licencing system is concerning. It’s not something that is required for bikes or e-bikes in Ireland, so why should a person need a licence to use an e-scooter? Requiring users to get a licence will likely significantly increase the cost - which at the moment is relatively low - and provide an unwelcome barrier to entry. A large number of e-scooters are already being used in Dublin. There’s huge interest in the technology and a real opportunity to grow numbers, but uncertainty over their legality is unhelpful. Workers in Dublin are looking at their peers in other cities around the world who are able to scoot around freely. The RSA's report hopefully moves the day closer that they'll be able to do so in Dublin."
A Dublin Chamber survey of 500 workers in Dublin, carried out in late 2018, identified that two thirds of people would support the introduction of e-scooters in the city.
E-scooters are ‘Mechanically Propelled Vehicles’ and as such come under the rules and regulations of the 1961 Road Safety Act. The Chamber, in a submission to the Department of Transport last year, said this is a law that far precedes e-scooter technology and that does not properly address their technological make-up.
Mr McQueen said: "Congestion in Dublin’s city centre is bad and getting worse. E-scooters can make a really positive contribution by enabling people to get around the city more easily. Permitting the use of e-scooters will pave the way for people to carry out part – or all - of their entire commute by scooter."