Since losing his seat at the election former Lib Dem MP Lembit Opik has been looking for ways to regain his position on the periphery of the public stage. Having failed in his attempt to launch himself as a stand up comedian Lembit is now trying to get himself arrested for riding one of those ridiculous Segway scooters in the streets of London.
For anyone not familiar with the sheer whackiness of this vehicle (?) heres a picture of Lembit on his machine followed by his
puff piece informed and balanced article on the virtues of the eco-friendly Segway.
I’ve found it nothing less than preposterous that our Department for Transport seems unable to formally permit the use of these eco-friendly and mobility enhancing machines on Britain’s highways and byways, Lembit says with regard to the reluctance of local councils to approve the Segway for use on pedestrian pavements.
Well if as Lembit says it is a form of transport then transport, cars, vans, lorries, buses, motor bikes and bikes all have to run on the road not the pavement. We know chavs ride their bikes on the pavement but hope that former Lib Dem MPs are not chavs. And in order that vehicles can to run on the road the driver has to be in full control at all times. Look at Lembit on his Segway. Wheres the steering wheel. OK there are handlebars sort of but the two wheels being mounted on a single axle cannot be steered. So how can anyone control them. To have chavs and nutty ex-MPs careering about the pavements on these things would terrify the more nervous pedestrian while robust types might be tempted to try a stiff arm tackle on the rider. I once saw a robust pedestrian who looked as if he might have played rugby in his youth stiff arm a pavement skateboarder. Hilarious.
Clearly then for the safety of little old ladies and pregnant women the Segway cannot be approved for use in pedestrian areas and the sight of a Segway rider wobbling and weaving along a carriageway would be just too tempting for White Van Man.
And then there is the safety of people fool enough to ride Segways. The makers claim they are perfectly safe but do you remember what happened when George W Bush tried to ride one? Well OK he was a special case but can you imagine the outcry from the Politically Correct Thought Police if we try to OK the Segway but exclude special needs people from riding them?
But it is not only those with special needs who are at risk from The Segway. Have a look at these Segway disasters.
Sorry Lembit, we dont know how much Segway are paying you to promote their product but I hope you are not on commission because you aint going to sell many. Even the USP you mentioned, that they are eco friendly, is wrong. They run on electricity which from memory comprises about 2% from green sources, 30% from nuclear generators and the rest from fossil fuels. And they are made out of plastic and metal so there is a carbon footprint there which cannot be offset against the carbon footprint of growing your own feet, Segway drivers still have to grow a pair of feet because they need to stand up on their electric pogo stick transport technology.
No, the Segway should be banned, they are more useless than the Sinclair C5. Anyone who thinks of buying this oddball machine whose designers failed to recognise the advantages of front back wheel alignment for two wheeled vehicles, should be banged up in a secure unit for the safety of themselves and others and publicity junkie ex MPs should be offered rehabilitation.
Sadly none of that will happen. The best thing about the Segway is the price, £5000. The only people daft enough to want one and with that kind of money to spare are likely to be celebrity arseholes looking for a photo opportunity. And as we need a few less of them the Segways record for road and pavement safety could be an advantage.
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