Coventry’s e-scooters close to return as new location confirmed
Coventry’s e-scooter trials are close to returning and will be set around Warwick University.
A 12-month trial of e-scooters launched in the city centre in September but was paused after just five days due to people riding them on pavements and taking them outside of the trial zone.
Operator Voi said the e-scooters – which can travel up to 15.5mph – were “safe, convenient and environmentally friendly”, but problems arose due to “a few anti-social people”.
Work has since taken place with Coventry City Council to get the trials back on track.
No date has been given as to when they could return but it has been confirmed that they will centre around the University of Warwick campus.
An initial private trial invite to all 54 Coventry councillors was due to take place next week but has been postponed due to concerns over safety during the national coronavirus lockdown.
Councillor Jim O’Boyle, cabinet member for jobs and regeneration, said, “Coventry’s trial was paused because of issues with the technology as well as certain misuse which didn’t help at the time, specifically in terms of safety.
"For those that don’t know, the trial was always scheduled to be rolled out to other areas of the city as the trial developed.
“Voi, who are the operators of the scooters taking part in the trial in the West Midlands, were asked to fix the issue and subject to that fix, resume the trial in another location, namely in and around Warwick University campus.
“That work has continued over the ensuing weeks but to ensure confidence both of the wider public and councillor colleagues, it was agreed a while ago that prior to the resumption of the trial an opportunity would be extended to colleagues to come and see for themselves, try them out and subject to their satisfaction, agree that the trial should recommence.
“This was particularly important to ward councillors whose wards Warwick University is located in or adjacent to. It was further decided that for complete transparency that all councillors should be given the opportunity to test them for themselves, hence the recent invitation to do so.
“It is unfortunate that in the meantime further national restrictions have been imposed, which whilst in themselves do not restrict this important work to continue do though mean that to avoid any doubt, the invitation at this stage will be withdrawn to another date to be confirmed.”
Voi was asked for comment on what changes will be made in the new trials to address issues raised in September, but a spokesman declined to comment.
The trial in Coventry is one of many taking place across the country, alongside neighbouring Birmingham.
E-scooters cost £1 to unlock and 20p per minute to ride.
The government brought forward national e-scooter trials by 12 months and passed legislation in May making rental e-scooters legal on public roads in a bid to help accelerate greener post-lockdown travel.