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E-scooters have been popular for many, allowing people to get from A to B swiftly, and also to carry on and off public transport. However, although convenient, it is revealed that they can also be dangerous! In fact e-scooters have been banned from all public transport in London. Fire safety has been a priority on underground services, since the catastrophic 1987 fire at Kings Cross Station which resulted in 31 deaths.
Leading up to the ban earlier this year, there had been several instances of concern where fires had started, allowing toxic smoke to be emitted from the scooters. The cause is believed to be faulty lithium-ion batteries, which can rupture without warning. Transport for London were concerned that these fires in an enclosed area such as an underground train or bus could harm customers and staff. It could also lead to a panic situation and result in mass injuries as people try to escape.
London Fire Brigade and other fire prevention specialists, support the ban, and confirmed that an e-scooter caught fire on a train at Parsons Green underground station in November. While nobody was badly affected, one passenger suffered from smoke inhalation. London Fire Brigade said there are concerns which “mainly relate to faulty third-party batteries, as many of the incidents firefighters are attending involve batteries which have been sourced on the internet and don’t meet the correct safety standards”.
Paul Jennings, the brigade’s assistant commissioner for fire safety said, “We have growing concerns about the safety of e-scooters and e-bikes due to the amount of fires we are seeing involving them, so we fully support TfL’s ban of private e-scooters on public transport. “Fires are dangerous and terrifying wherever they happen, but a fire on the transport network has the potential to become very serious very quickly and involve hundreds of people, particularly on trains where evacuation may be challenging, so anything that can be done to mitigate that risk is a positive step.”
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