A 74-year-old woman has warned of the potential perils of e-scooters amid a new trial of the motor vehicles in Richmond.

Christine Ainsworth-Wells, from Kew, said she wanted to caution other residents after fracturing her eye socket and wrist on an e-scooter in Dorset last weekend.

Richmond is one of several boroughs which has participated in the e-scooter rental scheme that launched on Monday, June 7.

E-scooters used to be illegal in many public places, but the trial will see TfL provide scooters in the borough for people to rent over the next twelve months, in a bid to reduce air pollution.

See more: Year-long e-scooter rental trial launches in Richmond

However, Ms Ainsworth-Wells said she believes there should be greater signage and awareness about the dangers of e-scooters.

The 74-year-old regularly swims at Pools on the Park, as well as walks and cycles in Richmond Park.

But despite being “fit and healthy”, when she tested an e-scooter in Boscombe, Dorset it “only took seconds” to fall off and crash into a concrete sea wall.

She was rushed to Poole A&E and treated for a fractured eye socket and wrist.

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The 74-year-old’s daughter, Martine Ainsworth-Wells said: “We appreciate that partaking in any activity of this nature is at our own risk, but we feel that there could have been more instructional signage at the bay where we picked up the scooter to try.

“These are throttle power motor bikes discussed as toys. They are lethal without a helmet and lethal without any training.”

London boroughs Richmond, Ealing, Hammersmith and Fulham and Kensington and Chelsea, will also be taking part in the TfL trial.

E-scooters are considered motor vehicles and all users will need to be 18+ years old and have at least a provisional driving licence to use them during the trial period.

Only the vehicles provided by TfL during the trial will be legally usable during the scheme, with a maximum speed limited to 12.5 mph.

Martine Ainsworth-Wells added:

“I have already seen the scooters in bays on the Green in Kew. There is no signage and no warnings. This message is to try and prevent our hospitals filling up with people with head injuries or worse having tried one out.”

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However, Richmond council has said safety is at the forefront of the trial.

A council spokesperson said: “Unfortunately the Council cannot comment on an incident that happened outside of the borough. However, safety is at the centre of Transport for London’s 12-month e-scooter trial which aims to better understand how e-scooters can be used safely in London as part of a long-term solution to the city’s serious air quality and congestion issues.

“The three operators were selected because of their ability to meet strict safety requirements and hiring an e-scooter via the trial is the only way to legally ride e-scooters on London’s public roads.

“Additionally, when hiring an e-scooter, users are taken through safety training. Richmond Council will be closely monitoring the trial’s impact on other road users and safety and reserves the right to withdraw from the trial for any reason if it proves unsustainable.”

Helen Sharp, TfL's e-scooter trial lead, added that “rigorous” safety standards are being met.

She said: “Safety remains our number one priority for this trial and we will work closely with the e-scooter operators, London Councils and the boroughs to ensure rigorous standards are consistently met.

“We will also continue to work closely with all of our stakeholders, including TfL's Independent Disability Advisory Group, to ensure that the trial meets the needs of everybody living in, working in and visiting the trial areas. This new trial will provide the data and insights we need to determine the longer-term role e-scooters could play in our strategy for a greener and healthier future for London.”