Living in France has taught me a how to deal with nuisances like e scooters and vapes – just ban them!

We Brits are a nation of complainers, but when it comes to taking decisive action on behalf of grumblers everywhere we need to take some tips from our bolshy French neighbours, says Debora Robertson

Thursday 07 September 2023 15:16 BST


It’s not quite that they’re mad as hell and they’re not going to take it anymore – rather, the nation has issued a collective tut, a massive shrug, and that’s quite enough of your scooters on the pavements and disposable vapes in the gutter, thank you very much.

Since 1 September, rented scooters – trottinettes – have been banned from the streets of Paris, after a referendum in April which found 90 per cent of Parisians who voted (albeit in a turnout of only 7.5 per cent) were fed up with their antisocial presence on the streets.

When scooters were introduced in 2018, they were seen as part of a pioneering policy for greener transport. Paris mayor, Anne Hidalgo, while still supporting cycling and bike sharing, has called the scooters “a nuisance”, and David Belliard, deputy Paris mayor in charge of urban mobility, has said that the case against them was overwhelming despite efforts by operators to address some problems. He said, “The anarchy was quite unbearable”.

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