London to host UK’s largest e-scooter trial
lans for the biggest trial of electric scooters in the UK were today unveiled by Transport for London.
A third of the capital’s 33 boroughs have expressed an interest in taking part in e-scooter rental schemes, with a year-long trial due to start next Spring.
TfL today launched a competition to select up to three operators to take part. The rental scooters will be able to be used on the road and in cycle lanes but not on pavements – effectively mirroring the “rules of the road” for cyclists.
Privately owned e-scooters will remain illegal to use on public roads and pavements, with riders at risk of a £300 fixed penalty notice and six points on their driving licence if stopped by police.
“Geo-fencing” technology will be used to reduce scooter speeds from a maximum of about 15mph down to 8mph in “go slow” areas. The scooters will come to a safe halt as they reach the boundary of each trial area.
The move follows a Department for Transport decision last summer to allow local authorities to trial e-scooter hire schemes.
TfL said e-scooters could help to encourage Londoners to use “greener” forms of transport and discourage car use as the capital recovered from the pandemic. All 33 boroughs will be able to take part, with 11, mostly in west London, having already said they want to be involved from the start.
Boroughs will control scooter parking areas to protect against street clutter and will be able to designate “no-go areas” - where e-scooters cannot be ridden and will automatically come to a stop.
TfL expects a “cautious” start of between 60 to 150 electric scooters per borough, with operators who perform well being allowed to increase the size of their fleet.
Michael Hurwitz, TfL’s director of transport innovation, said: “Safety will be our number one priority during this e-scooter rental trial, which will be critical to providing us the data and insights we need to determine whether e-scooters are a viable part of a greener and healthier future for London.”