HOMEPAGE

Tourism

 

City councillors signal end of the line for Segways in Prague city centre

 
photo:  (Kristýna Maková)
 

Councillors at Prague City Hall unanimously agreed to ban the use of Segway vehicles in the city’s historic centre. The move comes after dozens of complaints and accidents, including one on Monday afternoon in which a user suffered a concussion in a collision with a tram.

 

Over the last several years the sight of streams of tourists on Segways taking the sidewalk to Prague Castle or zipping along pedestrian walkways in Letná Park became more and more commonplace. So too have complaints and accidents. Prior to changes to traffic legislation, Segway users were classified the same as pedestrians; that is no longer the case paving the way for Prague City councillors to approve a new ban, which once in effect, will see Segways disappear from what is effectively the entire city centre including the historic quarters of the Old Town, Malá strana, and Hradčany.

In the historic zone, known as Prague’s Historic Reservation Site, the two-wheel vehicles will be banned from sidewalks, bike paths, pedestrian and residential areas, with one exception: those used by members of the Prague or Czech police forces. The ban will also include some streets outside the historic area where the vehicles have apparently proven to be a nuisance around Náměstí Míru area and the ban should also apply in Prague 7.

Originally, city councillors considered three options and Segway operators, worried they will be forced out of business by the ban, had hoped a corridor of streets, namely along the embankments of the Vltava or leading up to Letná Park, could be designated for the vehicles’ continued use. But no such option was tabled. The Association of Segway Operators’ Zuzana Eliášová told Czech TV that legal steps would be considered if the full ban goes ahead.

“We certainly have our own legal assessment so we will use that to decide which legal steps to take depending on how the situation develops.”

Ms Eliášová said in a separate interview for Czech Radio on Tuesday, that if the ban is implemented it would wipe out the business, saying that no tourist would come to ride a Segway in a residential area in the outskirts of the city.

The problem with Segway users is they cannot take to the road like cyclists; critics charge that riders themselves are often novices presenting greater risks. Prague Deputy Mayor Petr Dolínek told iDnes the ban on Segways needed to be viewed in light of the danger they present for pedestrians, where they have been increasingly crowded in on sidewalks. And he pointed to Monday’s accident at Prague’s Malá strana, in which a user collided with a tram, as clear indication of extent of the problem. As for company investments being hurt, the deputy mayor made clear the city was ready for a legal battle if necessary:

“We have registered that some [companies] have a tendency to try and prepare many things ahead of time, so that they can claim they have contracts agreed in advance.”

Individual city districts will now have 15 days to put forward recommendations and a final vote is expected to be taken in June.

 
 
Author: Český rozhlas Radio Praha
 
Added: 31.05.2016
 
 
 

Related articles

 
Tourism
 
 

Czech traveller hitchhikes across the...

For people from a land-locked country, boat hitchhiking may not seem like the ideal way of going places...

 
 
Tourism
 
 

Prague Airport aims to be best in...

Václav Havel Airport, also known simply as Prague Airport, has continued to attract more passengers every...

 
 
Tourism
 
 

Spokesman offers insights on the...

Václav Havel Airport, also known simply as Prague Airport, has continued to attract more passengers every...

 
 
Tourism
 
 

Prague’s Lennon Wall gets new face as...

John Lennon’s wall in Prague, which features a wide array of thematic street art, is a popular...

 
Most favourite

History of Czech fine art

What happened in the realm of fine art at the very beginning of the Czech…

Climate

The Czech Republic is a landlocked country located in moderate geographical…

The most significant current discoveries

During the last decade, Czech science has made many revolutionary discoveries…

Czech language

The Czech language belongs to the group of West Slavic languages. From another…