SPAIN’S state train operator Renfe is prohibiting passengers taking electric scooters onto their trains from December 12.

The ban has been introduced because of scooter battery fires reported on public transport in the country.

Those fires are said to be caused by battery tampering, something striking a battery, an old unit, or use of different chargers.

The Renfe decision not only affects electric scooters, but also unicycles or any other electric or battery-powered personal mobility device, with the exception of vehicles for people with reduced mobility and electric bicycles.

Renfe has defended the move by saying the measure has been adopted based on public health and passenger safety criteria and is similar to other restrictions introduced in different cities in Spain and Europe.

Sevilla was the first Spanish city, in 2021, to prevent commuters from entering the Metro with their electric scooters at rush hour on weekdays.

Last February, Catalunya banned scooter access to all transportation as well as stations and platforms following the explosion of a scooter on a Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya (FGC) service in November 2022.

Since November 4, electric scooters were also banned on Community of Madrid public transport including buses and the metro.

In other countries, some rail operators in the United Kingdom and Ireland, as well as the London Underground and Hamburg, have also banned electric scooters from their trains.

Once the measure starts next month, Renfe will be able to order a passenger to leave the train if they are carrying an object, luggage or vehicle that represents a risk to the safety and proper functioning of the transport, or to the safety of other passengers.

In the Cercanías stations managed by Renfe, a passenger with an electric scooter faces prosecution and random inspections will also be carried out by inspectors and security staff.

There no news as to whether low cost train operators Ouigo and Iryo will follow Renfe’s lead.

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