Transport bosses look to start e-scooter rental scheme

TRANSPORT for London (TfL), London Councils and London’s boroughs are working together on plans for a trial of rental e-scooters in the capital, with the aim of promoting safety standards and developing a better understanding of the impact of this emerging mode of transport on London’s roads.

The competition is open to all e-scooter operators, with up to three will be selected to take part in the 12-month trial, which is due to start in spring 2021.

Guidance issued by the Department for Transport (DfT) in the summer now allows local authorities in the UK to trial e-scooters as part of a rental scheme. The use of privately owned e-scooters on public roads is not covered by these changes and remains illegal in the UK.

The trials are part of a wider approach to enable people to use greener forms of transport.

Boroughs will control parking locations for e-scooters to protect against street clutter and will be able to designate certain areas as ‘no-go areas’ – where e-scooters cannot be ridden and will automatically come to a stop – or as ‘go-slow areas’, where the speed of the e-scooter will be automatically limited to 8mph.

E-scooters will be banned from riding on pavements but will be able to use the same space as bicycles.

The total number of e-scooters involved in the trial has not yet been determined, but TfL expects to start cautiously with between 60 to 150 e-scooters per participating borough, with e-scooters able to move freely across the trial area.

Michael Hurwitz, TfL’s director of transport innovation, said: “We’re determined to make sure that London recovers from coronavirus as safely and sustainably as possible and are supportive of innovative solutions that could help.

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