Pitt Meadows parts way with Segway tours

Natural areas of Pitt Meadows not somewhere people should be driving motorized vehicles

After a one-season trial, Segway tours will not be returning to Pitt Meadows again this summer.

Council directed staff to not pursue Segway tours with the company Wild BC Glide again, after offering tours on the dike system near Neaves Road, between the North and South Alouette Rivers during a pilot program that ran last summer.

Coun. David Murray said he wouldn’t support a return of the program, citing considerable staff time spent on the endeavour, and safety concerns.

“The owner of the company – Jimi Heselden – he actually drove off a cliff and died just a few hundred yards from his house, so I really question the safety of the unit,” said Murray.

The British millionaire entrepreneur was testing a cross-country version of the upright two-wheeled vehicle when he was killed in 2010. He was reportedly getting out of the path of a dog walker.

Murray said the natural areas of Pitt Meadows are not somewhere people should be driving motorized vehicles.

Coun. Bill Dingwall also spoke against the Segway tours, noting that under the Motor Vehicle Act they are not allowed on sidewalks. Nor are they permitted to be operated on roads. On trails, the vehicles could conflict with bikers, dog walkers and people on horseback, said Dingwall.

The company offered 90-minute tours for $80 plus tax per person. About 300 people took part, which the company was satisfied with. Two people fell off their Segways in “minor incidents,” and two participants in the tour had their vehicles broken into, reported Wild BC Glide.

The company liked the scenery and wildlife, but said the surface of the dike was too rough for its vehicles. It would have preferred to continue the tours this year, but on the paths along the Fraser River, starting at Osprey Village. There is no direct cost to the city for the tours.