As of yesterday (27 December 2022), the two companies became the latest train operators to introduce a ban on all e-scooters, hoverboards, and e-skateboards within stations and on train services in Greater Manchester and across the UK, as safety concerns over the risks posed by the Lithium-ion batteries that typically power these devices continue to rise.
Lithium-ion batteries can produce a vapour of toxic gases and lead to a fire or a risk of explosion if damaged or overheated, the train operators explained.
Avanti West Coast and TPE have joined several other train operators in banning these devices from this week, and this comes after Northern notably banned them on its 345 trains and at 500+ stations across the North of England at the start of this month too.
Northern said customer and staff safety was its “number one priority” when it introduced the ban.
“As these devices have become more and more popular, so have the horror stories of lithium batteries overheating and catching fire,” the train operator explained.
“Most of these devices are not actually approved for use in the UK, and our staff will refuse travel to anyone attempting to board one of our trains, or access one of our stations with such a device.”
Avanti West Coast echoed similar concerns, and confirmed in a statement that the ban is temporary and intended to “preserve the safety of our colleagues and customers until there is greater regulation on e-scooters”, before going on to ask the public to “adhere to these new rules” and “be kind to our staff helping to enforce them”.
TPE called the risks associated with e-scooters and similar devices something of “significant concern”, and referenced the fact that most of these devices are “not approved for use in the UK”.
Currently, the only e-scooters legal to use on UK roads are those taking part in government-approved rental trial schemes – which began back in 2020 to help gather data for the potential full legalisation of the devices.
E-scooters are actually classed as motor vehicles, which therefore means that the rules that apply to motor vehicles also apply to e-scooters – including being in possession of a full UK driving license, insurance, and the need to be taxed.
Mobility scooters, electric wheelchairs, and e-bikes are all exempt from all bans.
With the bans now introduced, customers who are travelling with mobility scooters and electric wheelchairs on each of the three train providers are being advised to contact the companies ahead of their journey to arrange assistance.
Sir David Jason set for TV return in Only Fools and Horses documentary Christmas special
In a surprise bit of festive news, the only and only Sir David Jason is returning for an Only Fools and Horses Christmas special this December. Lovely jubbly!
The best-loved and most-watched British comedy of all time will be back on our screens in documentary form this festive season, with Del Boy himself David Jason revisiting the iconic comedy character after 20 years he last played him on screen.
While the legendary sitcom was broadcast on BBC back in the day, the highly-anticipated Only Fools doc will be airing on Channel 5 right before Christmas as a special one-off programme.
Looking back on the show’s incredible run on UK screens over seven series and the several ‘Christmas Cracker’ specials, specifically, the latest Only Fools and Horses documentary will see Jason and a number of other guests appearing to chat about the legendary show.
While it’s still unclear how many of the original cast will be appearing, Jason’s on-screen wife Tessa Peake-Jones (Raquel) is confirmed to be appearing along with other special guests including newscaster Krishnan Guru-Murthy and Bendiorm‘s Sherrie Hewson.
Sadly, a full theatrical reunion just isn’t on the cards following the deaths of Roger Lloyd Pack (Trigger), Kenneth MacDonald (Mike the Landlord) and Buster Merryfield (Uncle Albert) in the 30 years since the show ended its run.
Only Fools writer John Sullivan also sadly passed away aged 64 in 2011 and fellow co-star Nicholas Lyndhurst, a.k.a. Rodney Trotter, told Metro: “We can’t. John is no longer with us. John was the driving force of the show and we have also lost quite a few cast members now.
“I don’t think I could do it without them and I certainly couldn’t do it without John. At the risk of depressing everyone, I think the last two times I’ve seen David has been at funerals.”
Simply entitled, ‘The Story Of Only Fools And Horses At Christmas’, the 90-minute special is yet to have its broadcast date fully confirmed but you best keep your eyes peeled on the TV guide — we’ll let you know as soon we do.
Jason, 81, has only just recovered from hip surgery earlier this year, so it’ll be nice to see his familiar grin back on our screens.
Right, we’re off to binge a whole series on UK Gold.
Habas restaurant in Manchester announces shock closure – with huge closing-down discount
Habas, the Middle Eastern restaurant launched by the team behind El Gato Negro, has announced its shock closure.
The subterranean restaurant will be going out with a bang though, promising one last knees-up with a big discount.
Habas will be doing 25% off its entire food and drink menu this New Year’s Eve so that fans of the eatery can raise a glass to the Manchester restaurant.
They’re also hoping that Mancs will raise a glass to new beginnings, teasing a brand new concept.
Habas is located at Brown Street in Manchester city centre and has been serving up its Middle Eastern menu since 2021.
It comes from Mills Hill Developments Limited, the company also responsible for El Gato Negro and Canto, fronted by celebrated chef Simon Shaw.
Habas has stressed that its closure ‘is not forever’ as it announces details of its New Year’s Eve closing down party.
You can ring in the new year with a selection of mezze dishes, sharing platters and small plates, feasting on chicken tagine and traditional tzatziki, all 25% off on Sunday 31 December.
Drinks, too, like the cranberry elderflower martini, blackberry ginger smash and clementine daquiri will be with 25% off.
Simon Shaw, Chef Parton at Mills Hill Developments Limited, said: “As of January 2024, we have made the decision to close the doors of Habas Bar & Restaurant, however we are thrilled to announce that our Brown Street venue has an exciting new concept on the way.
“Throughout December, Habas, will continue serving up the city’s best middle-eastern cuisine, so make sure you pop in and see us. AND on New Year’s Eve, Habas, will be hosting an unforgettable celebration with 25% off food and drinks. We want to rejoice with all of our customers, with one final hurrah!
“We would like to thank all of our guests and reassure Habas fans that this is not the end of Habas Bar & Restaurant forever, simply a farewell from Brown Street for now.
“We look forward to welcoming you to our new exciting concept in Q1 of 2024.”