Published on : Friday, March 29, 2019
Benidorm has banned the use of mobility scooters, electric scooters and Segways on pavements after an outcry from irritated locals. The councillors in the Spanish tourist hotspot voted unanimously to approve laws that will also impose a 12mph speed limit on the vehicles, with £430 fines for offenders. The riders will also need insurance, be forced to wear helmets, and must have either a fluorescent vest or bell to alert the public to their presence.
Benidorm is just the latest Spanish city to ban the vehicles, following similar laws in Barcelona and Madrid. Palma, on the island of Mallorca, is considering similar legislation as residents hit back against what has been dubbed ‘uncivic tourism’.
The electric scooters which can be rented by residents using a smartphone app then left in the street for someone else to pick up have also contributed to the problem. Such scooters have been blamed for at least one death in Spain – a 93-year-old woman who was knocked down in the Barcelona suburb of Esplugues de Llobregat.
A pair of men who were reportedly travelling at 19 mph when the accident happened were taken in for questioning in November last year. Another woman, aged 40, was killed in Barcelona when she fell off a scooter she was riding and was run over by a truck. Benidorm’s city council first introduced the law two years ago and it took seven votes to get it approved.
The measures will now go out for public consultation before being written into law. Fines will require a separate vote to implement. Spain, a country of 46 million, received 75.3 million tourists in 2016, sparking protests from locals who have branded the influx an ‘invasion’.
Far-left groups launched a campaign of vandalism around Barcelona and elsewhere in Spain to highlight the problem, prompting locals to take action. Of particular concern are resort towns such as Benidorm and Magaluf which have long been hubs of drinking, lewd behaviour and violence, some of it by Britons.
Benidorm has also announced a crack down on raunchy t-shirts and souvenirs in an attempt to tackle the unruly tourism problem.