Dad fined £1000 for hopping on son’s e-scooter in dash to doctor’s appointment

A dad was fined £1,000 and got points on his licence for riding his son's e-scooter to a GP appointment.

James Bladen, 41, from Pentrebane in Cardiff, said he borrowed his teenageson Tionree's £400 vehicle, which he bought him as a gift, after realising he was running late for a doctor's appointment a couple of miles away in Ely.

But he was stopped by South Wales Police just a few yards away from his home and slapped with a fine and points.

James, who admits he had never ridden an e-scooter before, said he had "no idea" it was illegal to rise them on public land in Wales.

He told Wales Online he thought the fine was "mental" and "extortionate".

"It's an absolute joke I feel like I'm being made a scapegoat. I live on my own with my son and get £500 a month to pay all the bills and look after him and the dog.

"I was panicking that I was going to miss my appointment and Tionree said to take the e-scooter. I had no idea they were illegal or I wouldn't have got on it.

"When the police called me over, the way they were acting I thought they mistook me for a burglar or that I'd stolen the scooter or something.

"They said I was riding it without insurance and they took it off me. I walked away from the scene a bit angry and my son was gutted when I told him."

E-scooters are defined as "powered transporters" by the UK government.

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South Wales Police has recently been warning people that riding them on public roads or pavements could land them fines, points on their licence and confiscation of the vehicles.

The mistake could now cost James £1,056, more than double the monthly amount of his universal credit payments, as well as six points on his provisional driving licence.

He said he has just started driving lessons and worries how the points will affect insurance quotes when he passes his test.

James said the incident occurred at the end of May and around a month later he got a written demand to pay the fine for riding the e-scooter, which has a top speed of 25 kilometres an hour (around 15 miles an hour), on a public road.

He added that he is currently challenging the order through his solicitor after being told to stump up the cash within 30 days or risk facing court action.

"I bought the scooter on finance for my son and it's now been destroyed and I'm still paying it off.

"A scooter is a scooter at the end of the day, it's environmentally friendly and I don't see how it's a problem as long as you're not going mental on it.

"I felt really down, depressed and I couldn't sleep. There’s no way I can pay that it seems extortionate," he said.

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