Benidorm clamps down on ‘uncivic tourists’ riding mobility scooters
Tourist hotspot Benidorm has banned people from using mobility scooters, electric scooters and Segways on pavements.
The ban applies to residents as well as tourists, who have been criticised for using the vehicles to get around even if they don’t physically need them.
The move is part of a crackdown on what has been dubbed ‘uncivic tourism’. Barcelona and Madrid have already introduced similar legislation and other towns and resorts, including Palma, Majorca, are considering following suit.
Benidorm has also announced a clampdown on raunchy t-shirts and souvenirs in an attempt to tackle lewd behaviour and a drinking culture by tourists.
Officers raided tourism stalls this week, seizing lighters with naked women on them, sweets shaped like genitalia, and fake boobs, according to the Daily Mail.
People on mobility scooters regularly make an appearance in the TV show Benidorm, but they’re much more prevalent in real life, with an increasing number of tourists renting the vehicles to get around the resort, according to reports.
Councillors voted unanimously to approve laws to impose a 12mph speed limit on scooters, with £430 fines for offenders.
Riders will also need insurance, will have to wear helmets, and have either a fluorescent vest or bell to alert the public.
The measures will now go out for public consultation before being written into law. Fines will require a separate vote to implement.
The move has had a mixed reaction from British tourists responding to the Mail report, with one reader saying: “Ban the scooters and boozy parties and Benidorm will be a ghost town,” and another predicting: “They will have empty hotels to go with it,”
Among those in favour, one reader described Benidorm as ‘the mobility scooter capital of the world’, and another said: “I could not believe how the scooters were abused when I visited Benidorm. People with perfect mobility were charging around on the scooters then parking up and walking into bars/shops!”
Electric scooters, which can be rented using a smartphone app, have been involved in two deaths in Barcelona.
A 93-year-old woman was knocked down by two men travelling at a reported 19mph in November last year.
Another woman, aged 40, was killed when she fell off a scooter she was riding and was run over by a truck, Spanish newspaper Diario Informacion reports.