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Boris Johnson wants to bin 'hogwash' hoverboards ban


Boris Johnson

Great news, hoverboarders – London Mayor Boris Johnson wants to put self-balancing scooters back on the right side of the law.

Johnson has hit out at recent Crown Prosecution Service guidance that banned public use of Segway-inspired wheeled vehicles, commonly referred to as ‘hoverboards’.

Writing in his weekly The Telegraph column, BoJo argues that there’s “one little thing we might do at once” to improve prospects for the younger generation.

Let’s get Back to the Future, and stop this ludicrous and nannying prohibition on the electric scooter-surfboard gizmos,” writes the Conservative.

He continues: “They are the Segway-like things which authorities have said young people may not use on the pavement.”

Johnson says he’s already spoken to Transport for London experts, who he reckons think the whole affair is “hogwash”.

“They are a new and potentially liberating form of personal mobility,” explains BoJo. “We want to legalise them.”

But how does the Tory Mayor justify a potential legislative switcheroo? He says that if “pavement-hogging oldster[s]” can ride around on mobility scooters, there’s no reason why the modern youth can’t use their ‘hoverboards’.

“If the oldsters can charge towards you on their terrifying chariots, the youngsters should be able to waft on their boards. It’s intergenerational fairness,” argues Johnson.

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Public use, i.e. on roads or pavements, of ‘hoverboard’ scooters was officially deemed illegal on October 12.

According to the CPS, the devices are “an offence under section 72 of the Highway Act 1835”, which forbids riding or driving a vehicle on the pavement.

The CPS also bars road use, pointing out that road vehicles must be approved via ECWVTA or MSVA to be licensed and registered for road use.

That was bad news for Marty McFly wannabes, many of whom had shelled out upwards of £500 for their scooters.

Do you agree with BoJo? Let us know why, or why not, in the comments.

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October 26, 2015, 3:45 pm

This goes to prove more and more how these nazis view the vulnerable and the weak. "Pavement hogging oldsters?" To old folk and the disabled mobility scooters are a liberating experience that enables them to be able to get out and about independently for further and longer with much less mental stress and physical strain.

There is a world of difference between this and these "hoverboards" designed for much fitter people because of the control and balance they need. Many kids with these things on pavements would badly misuse them. They would speed, do stunts and the fact the control needs quite a good sense of balance means distractions would cause accidents quite easily. Other pedestrians with good sight, fitness and who can walk well would be in danger never mind the blind, the old and the disabled still trying to walk however hard it is for them.

This clearly shows along with their austerity cuts aimed at the sick, the poor and the vulnerable that the Tories have no care for those of us in these situations. Little things like Boris Johnsons comments are giveaways to their attitude. They will do all they can to removed what they obviously see as a nuisance in the vulnerable of society.


October 26, 2015, 5:05 pm

On the other hand Boris says what he thinks without worrying about upsetting some group or other (or an entire city). That's refreshing.

But I do think he's missed the point that the mobility scooters, however badly driven, do allow people to do things they otherwise couldn't and I don't think we can say the same for the boards.

Who the heck is calling them hoverboards?

Alex L

October 26, 2015, 8:58 pm

What a bit of fresh air for Boris to take a common sense position on this tbh. You occasionally see someone riding a push along scooter in London, which on the one hand looks like a great idea, but also looks a bit ...awkward. Like it'll never catch on. This tech though looks genuinely like something that would be adopted. Lets not let a load bureaucracy snuff it out. As for H&S concerns. Have you been to London recently??


October 26, 2015, 11:15 pm

And why not bicycles also. People weaving in and out of pedestrians are even more dangerous than skateboards. I think that Boris is being more than a little Agist here.


October 27, 2015, 12:46 am

Saying what you want is not the problem but its what you say that is, as Mel Gibson now knows.


October 27, 2015, 1:11 am

I'm more concerned that the internet and media's habit of examining everything anyone famous says for something that might be offensive or non-PC, and then starting a witch-hunt, has led to no-one ever saying anything genuine or interesting. Look at the media-friendly rubbish we get out of most politicians these days.


October 27, 2015, 8:27 am

It wasn't 'officially illegal on 12 Oct', it's been illegal ever since the Segway came out, but was just restated due to the advent of the misnamed 'hoverboards'. But, ignoring the usual Boris stupidity, like the 'oldsters' and 'modern youth' terminology, it's about time these things were legalised, obviously with speed restrictions.

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