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Thursday, July 25, 2024

Fire chiefs to give update on concerns over e bikes and e scooters

The rising popularity of e-bikes and e-scooters has led to a new type of anti-social behaviour, as well as being behind a “marked increase” in battery fires in Bradford.

Councillors will be given an update on how West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service is dealing with an increase in the battery-powered vehicles at a meeting on Friday.

Fire bosses for the Bradford area will tell the Community Safety Committee that e-bikes and e-scooters raise concerns in two areas.

Firstly the fact that owners often charge their vehicles in the home raises risks over house fires. Secondly, the vehicles are often driven in pedestrian areas or unsafely on main roads.

A ‘spotlight’ report on the issue being presented to the committee, made up of councillors from across West Yorkshire details the work by the fire service to tackle these two issues.

Referring to the issue of battery fires, the report says: “E-bikes and e-scooters are becoming increasingly popular.

“Most are powered by lithium-ion batteries, which can be charged in the home.

“The use of these batteries in a wide range of household products is becoming increasingly common.

“With an increased use of e-bikes and e-scooters, comes a corresponding fire safety concern associated with charging and storage.

“The use of these products is expected increase. Throughout West Yorkshire there has been a rise in e-bike and e-scooter battery fires.

“Bradford has seen a marked increase.”

A recent safety workshop was recently held in The Broadway shopping centre.

Discussing the anti-social and road safety issues caused by the bikes, fire chiefs will tell members that workshops are being held with young people.

The report says: “We will support the community through educational material such as QR codes to our website and an education package created in house for delivery to target audiences including schools.

“E-bikes and e-scooters pose other issues such as anti-social behaviour through use in pedestrian areas and speeding on roads across Bradford.

“We will work with other agencies across our Safer Roads partnerships in education using our Youth Interventions team.

“The Youth Intervention team continue to be active across the higher risk areas in the district. Identifying vulnerable young people and provide proactive safety programmes.

“Through a combination of direct education, open and honest discussions and practical activities, young people learn about the consequences dangerous road behaviours can have for themselves and other road users such as pedestrians.”

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