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Electric scooters and the battle over Europe's pavements

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By Euronews
A young woman rides an e-scooter through a pedestrian area in Frankfurt
A young woman rides an e-scooter through a pedestrian area in Frankfurt   -   Copyright  REUTERS   -  

They're here, they're there, they're everywhere - electric scooters are now a common sight across most of Europe.

But critics claim they're a real menace to society, and an eyesore, as they're often carelessly parked or end up being abandoned.

Some cities are fighting back with new measures to maintain order on the streets and keep them clean and tidy.

Paris, for example, has introduced €35 fines for electric scooters that are parked in such a way they block pedestrians.

But what are the operators themselves doing about the problem? Euronews Now asked Arthur-Louis Jacquier, general manager of Lime France.

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"Our goal is quite simple, it's to set up a business that is here for the long term and to do what we need to build a system that works in harmony with all the users of the street - not just our users but everybody - otherwise we'll be kicked out."

Jacquier says part of the problem is the rapid growth of scooter usage in many cities, to the point where scooters are now another form of urban mass transport.

The company has begun implementing rules to make sure their scooters aren't a hazard or inconvenience for anyone and has launched a public information campaign to make sure users know what those rules are.

"Rules didn't exist at the beginning, now there are rules. But, still, people don't know them. 

"Today we are the main leader of the e-scooter movement in Paris so we believe it is part of our responsibility to take measures."

Those measures include a "foot patrol" operating across Paris to move badly parked scooters and an academy that offers free training for users.

Listen to the full interview by clicking on the media player above.