Segway fans are trundling mad today, following a magistrate's ruling that the two-wheeled wobblers can't be ridden on the pavement.
The ruling concluded a test case that saw an unemployed factory worker, Phillip Coates (pictured right), fined £75 for riding a Segway on a pavement in Barnsley. Coates was also slapped with a bill for £265 in costs.
The case hinged on whether a Segway could be described as "a mechanically propelled vehicle intended or adapted for use on roads". The judge in the case decided they could be described thus, particularly as Coates told the police he'd consider riding his on the road when the pavement was full.
Segway supporters -- including ludicrous former Lib Dem MP Lembit Opik -- are royally brassed off about the judgement, as the comical, self-balancing transportation devices are already banned from use on the roads. That's because they don't meet basic safety guidelines, what with their lack of indicators and the like.
As such, law-abiding Segway riders can now only get their 12mph rocks off on private ground, with the landowners' permission. Suitable areas could potentially include golf clubs, warehouses and shopping centres, according to the Department for Transport, although ice rinks might also be a laugh.
After the ruling, Coates' solicitor said he would be considering whether to appeal the verdict. A successful appeal could pave the way for Segways to be used on the roads, pending mechanical improvements. That's something advocates of the environmentally friendly, electric devices are all for, judging by the overwhelmingly positive response to last year's government consultation on the matter.
Honestly, first it's mobility scooters on motorways, and now it's Segways on pavements. Is this ruling another example of transport regulation gone mad, or have Segway riders received their just desserts? Let us know in the comments section below.
Photo credit: Ross Parry