Uccle wants to ban shared e-scooters

Uccle wants to ban shared e-scooters
Credit: Captain Raju

One Brussels municipality has finally had enough. Shared scooters, which have been part of the Brussels landscape since 2018, are set to be banned from Uccle, in the south of the capital, reports Belgians newspaper Le Soir.

The main operators of shared rental e-scooters have received a formal letter of notice from the Uccle municipality, demanding the removal of all scooters from the territory within the next ten days.

Uccle is effectively prohibiting the scooters from being parked within its borders. This does not necessarily mean that scooters cannot be used in Uccle, but rather that they can no longer be parked in the municipality’s streets. The decision will not extend to scooters owned by private individuals.

Uccle Mayor Boris Dilliès told Le Soir that the decision was a matter of security. “I have been asking for this situation to be rectified for almost two years. It really is a jungle, there are lots of scooters everywhere. Many users and operators do not care that many pedestrians, especially elederly people, have to weave through them on the sidewalk,” he said.

The municipality has already started tackling scooters parked improperly on the streets, by moving those that had been poorly parked. Despite this, the mayor believes that this policy was not effective enough.

“(Removing the scooters) doesn’t solve the underlying problem. It is obviously not the vocation of a municipality to pick up scooters because the users show incivility and the operators do not complain,” he complained.

Local authorities have now scheduled a meeting with the major scooter companies on Wednesday. In this meeting, they will restate their intention to end the parking of rental scooters on their territory.

On their own, the formal notices will not be enough to prevent scooters from being parked within Uccle. To implement a comprehensive ban, local authorities will have to create appropriate legal tools to prevent all parking. According to the Mayor, the Brussel Region is ill-equipped to provide the municipality to take effective action against the scooters.

“(The region) completely procrastinates on the case. There are no concrete measures regarding the parking of scooters yet! We are therefore in the process of examining the most solid legal solutions while waiting for the region to move and put a definitive end to this problem,” Dilliès said.

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At the start of the year, Brussels deputies had drafted a proposal which would create compulsory parking zones for the city’s 20,000 shared scooters. The proposal would offer municipalities the choice of totally banning scooters, heightened regulations, or no regulations.

Yet six months later, the implementation of the proposals has yet to happen. “The order has indeed been delayed. Things always take time,” says the cabinet of Elke Van den Brandt.

In the meantime, individual municipalities are taking their own initiative to crack down on scooters. Woulwe-Saint-Lambert removes scooters from public spaces with narrow sidewalks, charging the operators €75.

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