A RETIRED railway signalman who fell off his electric Segway while on his way home from the pub has been given a driving ban.

Peter Nichols, 60, of The Crofts, Sutton-in-Craven, admitted before Skipton magistrates to failing to provide a specimen for analysis.

Nadine Clough, prosecuting, said Nichols had been returning home at around 10.30pm after attending a pub in Cross Hills on October 7 this year.

She said he had drunk four or five pints and was riding an electric unicycle, later established as a Segway with a platform. This form of ‘transport’ cannot be ridden on a public road or when above the drink/drug drive limit and along with e-scooters are classified as motor vehicles for the purposes of law.

Ms Clough said: “Police responded to a call from a member of the public who had found the defendant laid on the roadside along with his helmet. He could not remember what had happened.”

She said an ambulance was called and officers asked paramedics if they could ask for a road side breath test. However, The defendant refused to co-operate and was unwilling to provide a specimen.

Nichols was taken to hospital with minor injuries where police asked doctors if he was well enough to give a blood or urine sample, however, the defendant again refused and was charged with failing to provide.

In mitigation, Siobhan White said her client had not appreciated the laws around Segways which though not ‘vehicles’ in the standard sense, did risk the same consequences as someone who was driving a car. He also suffered from depression and retired early from the railway because of his mental health. She said he was remorseful and realises now he should have agreed to give a sample.

Magistrates asked for a stand down report which was delivered by probation officer Andrew Watson. Mr Watson said Nicholas had owned his Segway for two-and-a-half years.

One the day in question he had been shopping and on an impulse decided to call at the pub.

Mr Watson said Nichols claimed he did not have full knowledge in terms of the law surrounding riding the Segway but appreciates ignorance is not a defence,

“He regrets his actions and will learn from this offence,” said Mr Watson.

Nichols was banned from driving for 18 months and said he would be willing to take part in the drink-driving rehabilitation programme which would reduce his ban by 18 weeks if completed successfully. He was fined £192 and ordered to pay costs of £85 and a surcharge of £34.