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E-scooters for hire are coming to BCP to cut congestion

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E-SCOOTERS are to be trialled in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole in the latest bid to reduce congestion.

Although the use of privately-owned e-scooters is banned in the UK – except on private land – pilot schemes are running in several parts of England.

And the leader of BCP Council has said the area will become the latest to host a trial, despite acknowledging e-scooters were “controversial”.

In October the Transport Committee of MPs said their use on roads should be legalised but that their “dangerous and anti-social” nature meant a ban on riding them on pavements should continue.

Trials of rented e-scooters are underway in several parts of the country, including pilots bike share operator Beryl is running in Norwich and on the Isle of Wight.

Driving licences are required to hire e-scooters – unlike for bikes – and they are only allowed on public highways.

In May the government announced it would be increasing the number of pilot schemes in operation as part of its push to encourage people to use greener, “active” travel methods.

E-scooters for hire are coming to BCP to cut congestion

However, concerns have been raised about their safety, prompting Coventry to drop its trial after only five days, and their environmental impact.

In July Dorset Police issued a warning against their use following "enquiries" from the public and in January a jogger running at Branksome Chine was badly injured after being knocked over by one.

Despite these, speaking during his weekly Facebook question and answer session, BCP Council leader Drew Mellor said the conurbation could be the latest to host one.

“We’re one of the most congested areas in the country in terms of our road network and we need to find other ways, particularly in the last mile, of getting people around,” Councillor Mellor said.

E-scooters might be a way of doing that – I appreciate they’re controversial but it’s something we’re committed to trialling.”

Beryl, which runs the existing bike share scheme across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole said it was “unable to comment at this stage” on whether it would be involved.