Trial of rental e-scooters begins in London

Transport for London, London Councils and participating boroughs have launched a trial of rental e-scooters in the capital, which will last for up to twelve months and have safety at its heart.

Following the government’s announcement to legalise rental trials of e-scooters run by local authorities, TfL and London Councils launched an open and competitive procurement process for the planned trial of an e-scooter rental scheme in London. Operators Dott, Lime and TIER were appointed to take part in the trial following the process, where their ability to meet strict safety requirements and high operating standards was carefully considered.

The trial is initially launching in Canary Wharf, Ealing, Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington & Chelsea and Richmond, with Tower Hamlets acting as a ‘ride through’ area. The trial will begin with this core group of boroughs, with more expected to join throughout the summer.

London Councils has said that e-scooters will be priced at between £3.25 and £3.40 for a 15-minute ride – and are only allowed to be ridden on roads, not pavements. Each operator will charge a fee to unlock as well as a per minute fee for each ride.

Rental e-scooters offer a number of benefits over private e-scooters which make them more suitable for a trial on London’s streets, including always-on lights, GPS controlled parking and no-go zones - meaning they can only be parked in specified locations not obstructing the pavement and cannot be taken in certain areas, such as tunnels - and a unique identification number on every vehicle.

Will Norman, London’s Walking & Cycling Commissioner, said: “As we look to our capital’s future, we want to ensure a green and sustainable recovery from the pandemic. We know that a huge portion of car journeys in London are for very short distances, and we want to explore how e-scooters can act as an innovative alternative. E-scooters have been on our streets for some time now but with very little regulation. This trial will have safety at its heart, bringing in rigorous precautions and parking measures while taking the needs of all road users into account and seeing what role e-scooters can play in London’s future.”

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