I have just had a meeting with Paul Clark MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Transport. This was a follow up to the short debate I introduced in the Lords in May on the case for allowing the use of personal transporters, such as those manufactured by Segway, on road or cycle ways.
My interest remains that there could be a wide variety of beneficial uses for such transporters by the police (Segways are used by police in over a thousand jurisdictions world-wide) and by local authorities (eg for street enforcement). However, there is also some evidence from overseas that personal transporters may lead to some modal shift by car users for short journeys by individuals who would not use a bicycle or walk.
The Minister, of course, stuck to the Departmental line: legislation would be required to permit their use other than on private property; and more evidence is required to justify the costs of making the changes. He was not, however, wholly negative. He felt that evidence from the Netherlands and from Germany might be helpful and was keen to maintain a dialogue with Segway. How much more patience the company will have, given that they feel that they have provided ample material about the safety and use of personal transporters in the USA and elsewhere, remains to be seen.