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Paris considers ban on electric scooters after pedestrian’s death

Paris has threatened to ban e-scooters if their operators don't enforce speed limits and other rules after a pedestrian was knocked down and killed by two riders who fled the scene.

Paris considers ban on electric scooters after pedestrian's death
Photo: Ludovic MARIN / AFP.

Some 15,000 devices are available for rental across the city, where they are supposed to travel no faster than 20 km/h with one rider only, and only on streets or bike paths.

Critics say those rules are hardly enforced, and abandoned scooters are often seen scattered on sidewalks and squares.

“Either the situation improves significantly and scooters find their place in public areas without causing problems, in particular for pedestrians, or we are studying getting rid of them completely,” deputy mayor David Belliard, in charge of transportation, told AFP late on Tuesday.

“Other cities have done it,” he said, citing the Paris suburb of Issy-les-Moulineaux as well as New York and Barcelona.

On Saturday, police charged a nurse with aggravated manslaughter over a fatal collision earlier this month with a 32-year-old Italian woman living in Paris, who was standing on the banks of the Seine talking with friends when she was hit.

The rider and a passenger on the same scooter fled the scene and were found after a 10-day search.

The woman’s death, which brings to at least three the number of people fatally hit by e-scooters in Paris since 2019, revived the debate over allowing the devices on the city’s streets.

Belliard said he had summoned executives from the three e-scooter operators, Lime, Dott and Tier, telling them he had received “lots of negative feedback about scooters on sidewalks, the sense of insecurity, and scooters abandoned in the streets.”

Their contracts, which add nearly €1 million a year to the city’s coffers, run through October 2022, when they risk not being renewed, Belliard said.

He added that starting on Wednesday, operators must ensure that scooter speeds do not exceed 10 km/h in several “slow zones” in central Paris, including the popular Republique and Bastille squares, where the city has recently added large pedestrian zones.

Operators are able to install speed brakes that come on automatically if the scooter enters slow zones, which are programmed into the GPS units.

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TRAVEL

Striking workers block Paris airport terminal, flights delayed

Striking airport workers have blocked part Paris’s Charles de Gaulle airport, with some flights already delayed by at least one hour.

Striking workers block Paris airport terminal, flights delayed
Striking airport workers outside Charles-de-Gaulle airport in Paris. Photo: Geoffroy van der Hasselt | AFP

Last month, trade unions representing workers at the Aéroports de Paris (ADP) – the city’s Charles-de-Gaulle-Roissy and Orly airports – called for a strike between July 1st and July 5th in an ongoing dispute between French airport workers and bosses over contract renegotiations.

A second wave of protests are expected next week, after a strike notice was filed for July 9th.

Tensions mounted on Friday morning as some 400 protesters staged a raucous demonstration at CDG’s terminal 2E, which mostly deals with flights outside the Schengen zone, as police officers looked on.

At Orly airport, meanwhile, some 250 people demonstrated “outside”, while a small group was inside.

The dispute is over a long-term plan by ADP to bring in new work contracts for employees at the airports, which unions say will lower pay, job losses and a reduction in rights and bonuses for employees.

The strike is being jointly called by the CGT, CFE-CGE, Unsa, CFDT and FO unions, who said in a joint press release that the proposals will “definitively remove more than a month’s salary from all employees and force them to accept geographical mobility that will generate additional commuting time”.

Unions say that staff face dismissal if they do not sign the new contracts.

ADP said on Wednesday that it expected ‘slight delays for some flights but no cancellations’ to services – but it urged travellers to follow its social media operations for real-time updates.

On Thursday, the first day of action, 30 percent of flights were delayed between 15 minutes and half-an-hour.

ADP’s CEO Augustin de Romanet had said on Tuesday that ‘everything would be done to ensure no flight is cancelled’. 

ADP reported a loss of €1.17 billion in 2020. 

Stressing that discussions are continuing over the proposed new contracts, the CEO called for “an effort of solidarity, with a red line: no forced layoffs.”

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