Man fined for Segway pavement ride

In the first case of its kind in the UK, a man has been convicted of riding a Segway on a pavement.

Unemployed Phillip Coates was fined £75 and ordered to pay £250 costs and a £15 victim surcharge for riding the two-wheeled personal transporter on a pavement in Pontefract Road, Barnsley, in February last year.

The 51-year-old, of Park Avenue, Cudworth, South Yorkshire, was brought to court under Section 72 of the Highways Act 1835 for "wilfully riding a motor vehicle, namely a Segway, upon a footpath or causeway by the side of the road, made or set apart for the use or accommodation of foot passengers".

The District Judge at Barnsley Magistrates' Court ruled that as the Segway is a motor vehicle under the meaning of the law, riding it on the pavement is an offence.

Those campaigning for wider Segway use were highly interested in Mr Coates' case. They say they are effectively barred from using them on pavements if they are classed as motor vehicles yet cannot drive them on roads because they do not meet all the requirements of a motor vehicle for use on the highway.

Former Liberal Democrat MP Lembit Opik turned up at one hearing to offer his support for Coates.

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