University of Leeds bans e-scooters and bikes from its campus buildings over fire concerns

Those who continue to could face disciplinary action from January 2024

Leeds University has announced a ban on e-scooters and bikes inside campus buildings after one set on fire, causing significant damage.

Instead, students and staff have been asked to store both scooters and bikes, as well as electric hoverboards and skateboards, in external bike shelters and lockers, The Yorkshire Post reports.

The university says an amnesty period will be in place until January 2024, but, thereafter, anyone who continues to charge or store the devices inside buildings may be faced with disciplinary action.

A spokesperson said: “We recognise the impact this may have on electric bike users.

“To support the continued use of electric bikes the university is working to install lockable external charging points in locations across campus.”

It’s though the new external charging points will be in place before the start of the second semester in January, with further details to be announced in due course.

The ban follows concerns from fire services across the country regarding the rise in fatalities and injuries caused by, lithium batteries.

Earlier this year, West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service issued a warning about the associated dangers after an electric motorbike exploded in a home in Halifax.

The incident, which happened in the early hours of the morning and was caught in camera, resulted in five people having to receive medical treatment.

In a statement, a spokesperson for West Yorkshire Police said: “We have released the shocking video after the owner of the property in Halifax agreed it needed be seen, to educate the public on the dangers of lithium batteries.

“Because lithium batteries can be found in a range of items (including cars, bikes, scooters, laptops, phones and e-cigarettes), we frequently attend fires involving them.

“Any other type of fire we deal with has usually developed slowly, and people are able to get out quickly, However, battery fires are so ferocious and spread so quickly that there isn’t much time to escape.”

Leeds is not the only place where electronic bikes and scooters have been restricted; the University of Sussex banned e-scooters in January 2022, following several near-misses with pedestrians and a crash, near to its campus, that killed a rider.

Echoing the warnings of emergency services, concerns were also voiced surrounding the fire risk posed by lithium batteries, especially in student accommodation.

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