Things are looking grim for Margaret River’s contentious Bird e-scooter scheme. After winning council approval for a 12-month trial just before Christmas, the international company is now facing a deadline to explain itself lest the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River cancel the whole scheme. The heat comes after Margaret River police fronted the local government earlier this month to outline widespread concerns about safety and amenity issues around the scooters. Many of those concerns – already outlined in previous Times reports – related to the use of scooters by teenagers, riders flouting helmets, and reports of numerous “near miss” incidents local police say are serious. Police also echoed Shire comments that Bird failed to respond adequately or in a timely matter to requests for clarification. The Shire report noted police contacted the operators “without any tangible response by Bird to improve safety”. Earlier this month, the company was given 14 days to rectify the situation, with the deadline for response expiring on May 25. A Bird spokesman told the Times the company was “unable to provide a statement at this stage”. Shire president Paula Cristoffanini said the misuse of Bird e-scooters in the community was causing serious safety concerns. “The safety of our community members remains our highest priority and the council voted to give Bird Rides Pty Ltd 14 days to action safety measures and comply with their original permit conditions,” she said. “If Bird are unable to meet these requirements, their permit will be cancelled. “The Shire continues to listen to community concerns and is working closely with the WA Police on this matter. “People riding e-scooters are reminded to use them, according to rules clearly outlined when hiring them.” While the contentious scooters have split public opinion, the scheme was valued by some, including some councillors, for encouraging more sustainable modes of transport as part of Shire moves to reduce reliance on vehicles and cut carbon emissions. However, in reality the scooters have proved popular mostly with teenage joyriders and punters using them as an alternative mode of transport after local pubs shut. The scheme only started in March after the council approval was given, despite concerns about the technology, with councillors inserting a clause allowing the local government to wind back the scheme in the case of serious mishap. The Times understands Bird had not complied with some of its permit conditions. In April, the Times questioned whether controls were in place to limit under-age users, speed limits, and the flaunting of helmets, which were conditions of the approval. Concerns raised by police included those points as well as scooters ridden by two users at once, and incidents involving scooters and other vehicles as well as pedestrians. Another incident involved teenagers allegedly charging players during junior soccer training. Margaret River police Sergeant Simone Taplin said officers took the issues seriously. “Police are working together with the Shire and Bird to look at the sustainability of keeping the scooters and the risk they present to the community,” she said.