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back to article Segway shock army to invade Department of Transport

A shock army of Segway-borne campaigners will tomorrow make the five-minute trip from the Houses of Parliament to the Department of Transport in an attempt to convince the government that the scooters represent the future of transport. Earl Attlee, Earl Liverpool, and MPs Stephen Pound and Lembit Opik will be among those …

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The Future?

I don't know about you, but to me it seems as though we're going to evolve past needing legs at this rate.... the future for the human race?? well i picture an amorphous blob

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Pirate

over my dead body

Segway users should be treated exactly the same as cyclists who use the pavement - kicked off into the path of an on-coming bus.

God I hate cyclists on pavements.

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Why not a bike then?

Cocks.

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@ Daniel

Sorta like a Dalek then? Cool....

Personally, I'll stick to my good old fashion Sinclair C5 (It hasn't got good brakes

either, but it does have lights...).

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@ David Simpson

Personally I'd rather they were there than on the road causing people to serve halfway in to the other lane to avoid them.

Admitly a lot of that is down to people not knowing how wide their car is, but it'd be less of an issue if bikes were just banned as well!

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Segway Haters

"Luddites"

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RE: over my dead body

"God I hate cyclists on pavements"

Agreed. Like the fucker who jumped off the pavement in front of me this morning when I was doing about 30. Just because I only have 2 wheels dosen't mean I'm a cyclist!

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Stop

RE: over my dead body

Nowt wrong with cyclists, but segway's whould be banned. All they do is make fat people fatter, or thin peope fat.

You get zero excersise on those things. Ban them I say.

More people should cycle as it benefits all, motorists included (less cars on the road).

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Joke

@David Simpson

So it's ok then to mow down smart arse pedestrians who step/jump into the road and cycle lanes right in front of me then? :)

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Ash

@David Simpson

That's all well and good, but here's a qualifier; Any driver who overtakes within 1m ("car door width" as my driving instructor used to say) of a cyclist riding on the road, as the Highway Code describes that they should, has his knees removed with a claw hammer by the same cyclist.

God I hate idiot car drivers, and I don't even cycle.

Onto the point, though; Segway should be allowed to use the cycle lane, but have the same restrictions as cycles; Front and Rear lights, conforming to the appropriate regulations for cycling at night time. Brakes are useless, as the thing will topple over or skid. I wouldn't want to high-side a Segway.

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@ David Simpson

Try your luck walking on certain dangerous sections of roads, and you'd see why responsible/limited cycling on some of pavements should be allowed.

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Flame

Easier to spot..

... an Apple user.

(Hence easier to shove them off the pavement into a bus)

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: 'smart-arse pedestrians'

Dear me, I knew we'd get a flurry of these.

I don't believe David S did suggest that's OK, AC. And I don't think there's any justification for cycling on the pavement, myself. I'm sorry if it's hard out there on the actual road but... look, just get off the goddam pavement.

Hmph. As you were.

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@Cyclists on pavements

Well, there's a stretch of pavement in Lincoln where which side is cyclepath and which is footpath depends on which direction you're travelling. Idiot planners used the wrong signs one end.

As for Segways being easy enough for politicians, remind me what happenned when Bush tried to use one?

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I'm waiting, El Reg...

...for your Plamobil dramatization!

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Gimmick

I can't see the Segway as anything but a gimmick. I can't think of any real way in which this is better than a motorized scooter or a bicycle--it's just a lot more expensive and a lot less naturally stable. It's a neat little contraption for sure, but what's so revolutionary about it?

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Go

I welcome this.

I, for one, welcome this.

Force all MPs to use a segway as their primary mode of transportation. THEN they will see just how crap cycle lanes really are. Around here, some cycle lanes are less than 2 meters long.

Maybe then we'll see some improvements to cycle lanes that stretch beyond previous token gestures.

/leans forward to speed this up.

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Good fun, though...

..."accidentally" dropping one's laptop bag or gym bag in the path of one of these things. Watching some lard arse hitting the pavement face first with all the grace and subtlety of a dead whale falling out of a tree would brighten anyone's morning.

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@Mycho

He took a dive...

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re: over my dead body

I feel somewhat justified in riding on the pavement as I'm epileptic so riding on the road poses more hazard to everyone than riding on the pavement. I'm happy with cyclepaths where they exist for more than 2 metres without a lamppost/buggy/fat person in the way, but riding tire against kerb makes me nervous -> stress -> episode -> crash.

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Coat

Playmobil

Will also accept Lego if there's no PM-Segway yet...

Maybe Segway's could be permitted to use the railway-lines too? FFS, it's an unregistered, untaxed, motorized vehicle... oops, I've said the 'T' word, now maybe they'll be legalized - for a fee to HMRC...

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The statistics on pedestrian deaths on pavements are interesting

I looked at this a while back: number of peds killed on the pavement per year by cars was between 50 to 80, average number killed by bikes was very close to zero.

LIke jumping red lights. Go and stand at Hype Park Corner or similar and count the number of cars who do it practically every light change. I'd like to see the stats for peds killed by cars jumping lights vs bikes.

Idiots are idiots regardless of mode of transport, and people have it in for bikes because the riders are going faster and getting fit.

People who lump all cyclist into one big, redlight-jumping, granny-scaring group are facists looking for an easy target IMHO.

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Coat

@Daniel

"well i picture an amorphous blob..."

Methinks you'll find it's already here, and it's called "Prescott".

Mine's the leather one with "Hell's Curmudgeons" on the back...

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Paris Hilton

@Freetard

"More people should cycle as it benefits all, motorists included (less cars on the road)."

Are cycles going to magically remove some wings, bumpers or wheels from other traffic? - or is that "fewer" cars on the road?

Yours pedantically but grammatically,

the semi-resident grouch.

Paris because I'm not THAT grouchy...

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Forget about the Pyramids Charlie

I didn't understand the point of a Segway until I realised it was from the USA - the land of people who never walk anywhere. However I support their introduction as long as they are fitted with a speaker and a loop recording loudly saying "I am a lazy twat"

I do find it annoying that Members of Parliament should publicly pressurise a Government department when it's been made perfectly clear that Construction & Use regulations outlaw them.

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"I wanted to show they are so easy to drive that even an MP can do it."

Yes, that'll work...

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Cycle tracks

So in addition to scooters and council gardening vehicles passing me, having to avoid crowds of pedestrians who prefer walking on the cycle track to the footpath next to it, pensioners in invalid buggies, parked cars (I kid you not - if the cycle track is next to the road it becomes a car park), skateboards, bits of tree placed across the cycle path to deliberately cause an obstruction and lots and lots of broken glass all over the place, my attempts to stay fit and save fuel will be further hampered by smug, fat Apple users weaving around on their Segways?

No.

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Go

Cycles and Segways should both be allowed!!

Cycles on the pavement, Segways replacing them on the road, a sensible rider on a bike is not dangerous on the pavement, and more pavements should be split for cycle lanes... it would be much safer for all concerned that way.

As for segways, their lower centre of gravity, slower speeds generally, and less potential to ride one like a moron would make them safer for sharing the road than bicycles, given the proper ligting and safety gear of course.

As for the comments about being lazy, for medium length journeys why not use a Segway rather than walk, I enjoy walking and but there are times when such a device would be preferable.

People talk a lot of rubbish about cyclists and segways and need to quit!

Oh and any cyclists present who have flashing red rear lights on your bikes, swith them to non-flashing mode, you are breaking the law!!

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Lembit Opik

It's surely not necessary to say any more. Anything this clown comes up with is, by definition, a joke.

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Psychlepaths

"Tories have already asked that Segways be allowed to glide along Blighty's cycle paths" Once more proof that they just don't have a clue. It can be hard enough to just to cycle on some cycle paths, having to avoid dead mopeds, cars, shopping trolleys, piles of bricks, broken glass and crap planning amongst many other things. Fat-arsed Segways would have no chance.

Also, if Segways were to be allowed on roads then the electric-powered skateboards and bikes (ones where you don't have to pedal as well) have to be allowed.

Oh, and sod all this 'all cyclists/drivers/pedestrians are shite' nonsense. You get crap cyclists/drivers/pedestrians, mediocre ones and good ones. Picking scabs to make things carry on bleeding is just masochism.

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@Bob

Of course less people are killed by bikes you muppet, they weigh less and go slower. However, how many people have been injured?

Not many people have been killed by a kick to the knackers, shall everyone line and reposition yours, just to prove a point?

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@ Most people

"Segways should be allowed to use cycle lanes".

That's fine by me - cycle lanes are generally a waste of space for most cyclists: Put me in the traffic at 30mph - it's way better then having to deal with kerbs, potholes and intermittancy of the cycle lane.

BTW the last pedestrian that stepped out without looking at me finished up with a broken arm. That hopefully learnt him.

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Paris Hilton

@Myco

"As for Segways being easy enough for politicians, remind me what happenned when Bush tried to use one?"

yeah... what's your point :-)

paris: so we can all ride her to work

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Pirate

fantastic revenue generating exercise

We know they are going to do it AND they know it's illegal, I demand that we send around all traffic officers and fine them all once after every inch travelled.

Nice little earner there and will help meet their targets and leave the normal motorist alone for a bit.

I'll stick in my Focus ST no matter what the traffic conditions are, it's comfy, it's safe and it has my music on at my chosen volume level

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Anonymous Coward

"Segway army"

Wasn't that Gary "David Bowie-wannabe" Numan ?

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If they're illegal...

then hopefully the Boys in Blue will be there to nick all these goits.

Or will they all be too busy investigating the BT/Phorm thingumy?

Or just standing around, scratching their arses.

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Anonymous Coward

Segways are great

Hell of a lot of fun:

http://www.citysegwaytours.com/

They're legal in most of Europe (but then we don't make stuff illegal without good reason), that website doesn't begin to list all the Segway rental/sales/tours there are.

Are skateboards illegal in the UK? What about those little electric ones? Seems to me you worry too much.

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Gates Halo

@Dennis

Yet more evidance of how many cyclists don't know the Highway Code: unless lights show otherwise, you NEVER have right of way over a pedestrian.

Yet I am sure you expect every motorised vehicle on the road to give way to you at all times?

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I'm waiting for ....

the "Air cycle" as seen on the Hair Bear Bunch

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George B...

Bush fell of the Segway because he had not turned the power on. No power, means no motors or Gyros = no stability.

For those of you who have never ridden one, try it.

Yes a Segway will not get you fit like a bike.

But is it unstable, no, I took photos, two handed standing on a segway - I'd not try that standing on my bike.

Safe for the streets, yes if you can keep idots off of them - like cars, bikes, feet.

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Why?

Just don't understand the why? We have legs, we can walk.

And yes - cyclists should get off the pavement. Yes roads are dangerous until you learn how to cycle properly and control your road space. See what I'm getting at . . .

And the last thing I need is damn weird Segway machines in my cycle lanes in addition to all the other hazards others have listed.

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Hmmm.

Sitting in a country where the roads have cars, trucks, buses, bikes, quadbikes, segways*, scootacars, scooters, motorbikes, trikes and just about everything else you can think of competing for space, yet the highways inconveniently persist in not being a neverending, limb-strewn bloodbath, I wonder if the DoT actually accomplish anything useful at all with their restrictions?

*Ok, these are very rare. Not enough rich wankers around over here, I guess.

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Anonymous Coward

Make them legal on the road

Lights, Number plates, Tax & Insurance.

There that'll get rid of them quite quickly....

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Go

it's a start

It's a pretty damming indictment of our Government's "green credentials" when the DoT still doesn't even have a position on the legalities of using electric personal transporters like the Segway, or any idea when they might do.

I ride a bike and have also used a segway - they are fun, stable and might get people who otherwise wouldn't give up motorised transport in favour of something battery powered for journeys of up to 10 miles, to do so.

As much as we all like to imagine that everyone can ride bikes, some people can't - particularly the elderly. Ideas like segway enable people to maintain their independence in spite of the paucity of provision for other forms of transport e.g. encouraging cycling but failing to make any provision for secure bike stores etc.

It's symptomatic of a government that could easily do practical things to reduce our dependency on burning oil but despite an army of bureaucrats at the DoT seems to lack any clear plan for doing so.

Having a policy for types of transportation that don't fit the current mould (like Segway) is a starting point that's long overdue. It's a shame that it takes MPs doing stupid pranks for publicity to get the wheels at Whitehall moving.

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Go

Segways permitted to use cycle lanes

"While the Lib Dems and the Tories have already asked that Segways be allowed to glide along Blighty's cycle paths..."

Does that mean they will extend the existing patchwork of cycle paths into an actual network, or will segway riders have to dismount and carry the things between paths?

@Richard Willetts - "any cyclists present who have flashing red rear lights on your bikes, swith them to non-flashing mode, you are breaking the law!!"

Wrong! Highway Code Rule 60 states - "At night your cycle MUST have white front and red rear lights lit. It MUST also be fitted with a red rear reflector (and amber pedal reflectors, if manufactured after 1/10/85). White front reflectors and spoke reflectors will also help you to be seen. Flashing lights are permitted but it is recommended that cyclists who are riding in areas without street lighting use a steady front lamp."

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Coat

Many and various

"Earl Attlee, Earl Liverpool, and MPs Stephen Pound and Lembit Opik will be among those illegally taking to the streets to "demand the launch of an investigation into whether the Segway could play a key role in unblocking Britain's gridlocked main roads""

Let me save them the trouble. No they won't. Segways are used by people who are to lazy to walk or cycle. If they had cars, they'd be using them.

@Richard Willetts

"Cycles on the pavement, Segways replacing them on the road, a sensible rider on a bike is not dangerous on the pavement, "

That very much depends on the pavement. And as a cyclist, I can tell you that from my perspective, there are now a solid majority of cyclists who are NOT sensible. I'd blame it on the advent of the supermarket "mountain" bike, if it didn't sound so sniffy and elitist, so lets just say there are more cyclists and less road safety training than there used to be.

"and more pavements should be split for cycle lanes... it would be much safer for all concerned that way."

Agreed, but with some reservations. There are certainly places where this would be a good idea, for instance at roundabouts (particularly multi lane roundabouts) and busy junctions, it makes sense to offer cyclists a route around, but on the other hand, there's no reason why you can't pull up on to the pavement and get off, if there is a pavement.

Another issue, as I think someone mentioned, is that simply drawing a big paint line down the middle of the pavement and painting four foot high bikes all over half of it doesn't seem to cut much with a lot of pedestrians. The coastal cycleway (NCN route 1, for those that are interested) near where I live runs along the wide pavement next to the promenade. It is extremely clearly marked. Trying to ride along there on a sunny bank holiday is obviously stupid, but even on quiet days, there are, variously, old folk, pushchairs, errant children, and a wide variety of idiots who either step into the cycle designated space without taking heed of approaching traffic, or bumble along in it.

Typical speed of an average MTB along this pavement is ~20MPH, for most of it's length the space is ~6M wide, with 2M dedicated to cyclists. At it's widest, it almost 10M wide, with the same 2M dedicated to cycles.

That would seem like plenty of space for everyone, but it isn't, and indeed I have seen cyclists both verbally and physically abused for having the temerity to ring their bells when people are blocking the way.

Don't get me wrong, I think segregated pavement is the way to go if we're going to have cyclists out of traffic (and some need to be, children, the elderly, recreational cyclists, etc), but there needs to be a bit more to the segregation. Physically segregating the cycle and pedestrian traffic is one way, but it's expensive. Slightly cheaper would be to paint "PLEASE DO NOT WALK ON THE CYCLEWAY" and/or "LOOK OUT FOR FAST MOVING BICYCLES YOU TIT" at regular intervals on the _pavement_. Those stupid dinner plate signs are invisible to peds, who naturally aren't reading traffic signs as they walk. Also helpful (and hideously expensive) would be setting pedestrian crossings back into the pavement so that they are beyond the cycleway (if it's on the outside, which it inevitably is) to stop people wandering over to cross the road and getting an MTB upside them at 20MPH, which really hurts.

Of course by far the best way to deal with all of this is for everyone to stop being pricks. I'm not going to hold my breath for that. Oh and cyclists : Get a bell.

@Elmer Phud

"Oh, and sod all this 'all cyclists/drivers/pedestrians are shite' nonsense. You get crap cyclists/drivers/pedestrians, mediocre ones and good ones. Picking scabs to make things carry on bleeding is just masochism."

I agree that there is far to much of that kind of thing, but OTOH there are a significant number (I hope a minority) of drivers who will go out of their way to make life difficult, and often dangerous, for cyclists. There are also, unfortunately, an increasing number of cyclists who are either a) have absolutely no fucking idea what they're about, or b) have had an altercation (likely more than one) with an idiot in a car and have decided to say "well, fuck you, I'll ride how I like if that's going to be your attitude". Of course, a goodly number of the motorists feeling ill will towards cyclists fell that way because of an encounter with cyclist type b). It all feeds back on itself.

It really is becoming a serious problem, at least that's how feels from the saddle. It falls heavily into the "Something must be done!" category, unfortunately, any of the somethings that would make a difference require either a large investment of cash (not going to happen, look, we spent millions* on providing cycleways already!!!), or a a change of attitude on behalf of motorists, pedestrians and cyclists. (I'm specifically avoiding the issue of horse riders, that's another rant in itself). This also requires money spent. q.v previous.

@Dennis

"cycle lanes are generally a waste of space for most cyclists: Put me in the traffic at 30mph - it's way better then having to deal with kerbs, potholes and intermittancy of the cycle lane."

For myself I would agree, on most routes. If you're a cycle commuter, either get on the road or get the bus, or walk. Cycleways have no place on the road, they are dangerous (they make everyone's lanes narrower), and serve virtually no purpose. They also encourage poor (or even dangerous) lane discipline on the part of cyclists (drivers get pissy if you try to manoeuvre out of the cycle lane, and generally won't let you through, and why should they ? The cycle lane is over there!) , and encourage motorists to assign the cyclist to their little box and forget about them. This is unhelpful when you inevitably have to manoeuvre around some tit who's parked up across the cycle lane.

"BTW the last pedestrian that stepped out without looking at me finished up with a broken arm. That hopefully learnt him."

Yeah, same here. Fractured and dislocated at the elbow. He was lucky. I was in a bus lane.

* In case anyone doesn't know, the "millions" spent on painting all those lines on the road to make them narrower and supposedly help cyclists all came from treasury coffers. LAs were awarded funding based on the number of KM of cycle lanes they introduced. This was the only metric used, and therefore the most popular implementation strategy was "bung em out, wherever you can fit em". Next time you find yourself thinking "why the fuck is there a cycle lane there ??" or "That's odd, the cycle lane just peters out for no reason", or, increasingly "What the fuck use is a cycle lane that's only two metres long ?". That's why.

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Coat

Has to be said ....

All your segways are belongs to us.

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@Anonymous Coward

"So it's ok then to mow down smart arse pedestrians who step/jump into the road and cycle lanes right in front of me then? :)"

I did last Friday- a woman stepped into the cycle lane without checking if it was in use and I ploughed her out of it. She was most apologetic and left with a nice black tyre mark up her nice cream slacks.

[Yes, I did brake and even though my bike has disk brakes there was no way I was going to be able to stop in time]

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Alert

Ahh Segway.. my favorite word....

Every time I hear that delightful word I'm reminded of mother nature conspiring with gravity to sock it to George Wa*ker Bush right on his chin...

my other favorite word is Pretzel...

I wonder if they do segways with handle bar mounted pretzel holders?

*n

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Pirate

Keep 'em to cycle lanes......please

And whilst you are at it, can we force invalid vehicles onto cycle lanes as well please.

Only this morning I was waiting for a bus when a daft old bat.....er.....delightful elderly lady ran into me on her invalid buggy. I managed to dance out of her way and very gracefully went flying a** over t** in a heap. Fortunatly no injury beyond bruses that will appear tomorrow and mud on my suit. On remonstrating with her, she said that, because she is disabled, I could not talk to her that way and I should keep out of her way.

And the elderly complain about our manners!

(Skull and crossbones 'cos that is what she will be before long!)

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