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Jeremy Barnett to represent Segway rider in High Court Appeal

Phillip Coates, from Cudworth Near Barnsley, was convicted by District Judge Rosenberg, of riding his Segway PT motorised scooter on the pavement. He had denied the charge as he was not alleged to have ridden the Segway in a dangerous or inconsiderate manner, but simply for using it on the pavement under the Highways Act 1835.

Mr Coates said of his arrest, ‘I have been stopped by the police before but they just said they were making inquires and I never heard anything more from them. That’s why I was stunned when I was stopped again and told I had to go to the police station for an interview. I couldn’t believe it when they said I would be charged’.

At the magistrates court, his solicitor, Victoria Molloy argued that the designation of the Segway as a ‘Motor Vehicle’ under the Road Traffic Act by the Crown Prosecution Service, was wrong as it was clearly intended for use on the pavement.

The appeal before the Administrative Court will consider the definition of the Segway, and also whether or not the District Judge should have considered position in various European Countries, where local jurisdictions have allowed use of the SPT on various pathways and roads.

Ironically, Segways are manufactured by a British-owned company. The New Hampshire-based Segway Inc. was purchased by a company backed by Jimi Heselden, chairman of Hesco Bastion, last December.

The Segway was the brainchild of Dean Kaman, an American entrepreneur, who unveiled it in 2001 amid incredible hype.

Steve Jobs, the force behind Apple, was quoted as saying it would be “as big a deal as the PC”. A little like the Sinclair C5, it never took off, although by March 2009 more than 50,000 had been sold worldwide.

Originally posted 2011-05-20 00:00:00.

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