The Local Police, in collaboration with the traffic enforcement authorities, removed 27 electric scooters belonging to four different companies from the streets of Malaga's historic centre on Wednesday morning. This came a day after a municipal edict from mayor Francisco de la Torre prohibited parking these vehicles in pedestrian areas, with fines of 200 euros being issued to those who fail to comply.
This came in response to a number of complaints filed by residents in the city, arguing that many of these scooters were being left on pavements, blocking entrances to buildings, crossings and making access difficult for those with limited mobility.
This new edict (as well as the provision of 29 official parking spaces throughout the city centre, on the seafront and in areas of frequent use such as Teatinos and Huelin) has received the support of the companies renting out the scooters, though the speed with which it was pushed through took many by surprise.
Clara Vallvé, director of Bird in Spain, applauded Malaga's "innovative and progressive" attitude but called for better communication. "We are happy that Malaga has decided to provide spaces but it has not given us a lot of time to adapt to the new rules," she said.
Gerard Sellarés, of Wind España, supports the initiative but admits that 29 spaces "falls short" of the demand, given that 2,000 scooters are rented out every day.
Neither company would confirm whether the fines would be passed on to the users who are now also limited to 10km/h on pavements.