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Electric scooter rental trials begin in London UK News

TfL and London Councils today launched a 12-month electric scooter rental trial across London.

Electric scooters will be available for hire and drive in Ealing, Kensington and Chelsea, Hammersmith and Fulham and Richmond as well as Canary Wharf, while the City of London is expected to participate in the test next month.

A rental will cost between £ 3.25 and £ 3.40 for a 15-minute ride, with a fee to unlock the electric scooter as well as a per-minute charge for each ride.

Will Norman, TfL walking and cycling commissioner, said TfL wanted to explore how electric scooters can act as “an innovative alternative” to short car trips in the capital.

Mr Norman said: “As we look to the future of our capital, we want to ensure a green and sustainable recovery from the pandemic. We know that a large part of driving in London is over very short distances, and we want to explore how electric scooters can be an innovative alternative.

“Electric scooters have been on our streets for quite some time now, but with very little regulation. This trial will focus on safety, bringing rigorous precautions and parking measures while taking into account the needs of all road users and seeing what role electric scooters can play in London’s future.

The trial was praised by transport watchdog London TravelWatch, director Emma Gibson highlighting research which has shown that electric scooters “have the potential to be a much greener transport option for many people” .

But Ms Gibson warned that the app would be needed against users who “endanger others with antisocial behavior or by walking on the sidewalk.”

Concerns were raised about the trial last week after Metropolitan Police data revealed more than 500 crimes in the past year, including robberies and assaults, were committed by people driving electric scooters at the time.

London Assembly Member Caroline Pidgeon, who raised the issue with the Mayor of London last month, said “ensuring that crimes committed by people using electric scooters are brought under control is just another challenge that must be taken up ”.

The electric scooters involved in the test will each have a unique identification number and will be fitted with safety features such as GPS controlled parking to ensure that they are only parked in designated areas.

Metropolitan Police Chief Superintendent Simon Ovens said the Met was “happy to support this lawsuit” but warned that the use of private electric scooters would remain illegal and “will be dealt with by way of seizure.”

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This notice was published: 2021-06-07 11:00:00

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