E-scooter trial expanded to three new boroughs in London

Rental schemes are already in operation in six parts of the capital

Lamiat Sabin
Monday 05 July 2021 07:27
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Trying London’s first legal e-scooter

A trial of e-scooters in London has been expanded to three more boroughs.

City of London, Southwark and some parts of Lambeth will start rolling out e-scooters from Monday, taking the total number available to rent in the capital to 1,200.

Around 600 are already available in Ealing, Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington & Chelsea, Richmond, Tower Hamlets, and Canary Wharf.

The 12-month trial has been set up by Transport for London (TfL), London Councils – which represents the city’s local authorities – and e-scooter operators Lime, Dott and Tier.

TfL says it is in discussions with London Councils and other boroughs about more expansions in the coming months.

Will Norman, London’s walking and cycling commissioner, said: “I’m pleased that London’s rental e-scooter trial is expanding to cover the City of London, and parts of Lambeth and Southwark.

“Extending the footprint of the trial to more areas will enable us to get a better understanding of the role e-scooters can play in switching car journeys to greener and more sustainable alternatives.

“Safety continues to be at the heart of our trial, with London’s more stringent safety standards also in place in the new large area.”

E-scooters can be used on roads, in cycle lanes and on cycle paths, but are banned from being ridden on pavements.

Private e-scooters can only legally be used in the UK on private land, due to an old law dating back to the 1800s, but they are a common sight on roads and pavements.

E-scooters are usually limited to speeds of 15.5mph in the UK but e-scooters rented by Londoners are limited to a maximum of 12.5mph in the capital since the trial renting scheme started in June.

As well as having a lower speed limit, the rental scooters will also have lights permanently on, and use geofencing to prevent them being used in areas such as the royal parks. Users will also have to have a safety lesson before their first hire.

However the introduction of e-scooters has been opposed by some disability charities, which have warned about the impact on people with impaired vision.

Charity Guide Dogs has called for the sale of e-scooters to be banned, describing their use as “a serious safety issue for many people with sight loss”.

Others have warned about the impact on street clutter and highlighted safety concerns.

Last month, the Metropolitan Police said they had seized 507 privately-owned e-scooters over seven days.

Chief Superintendent Simon Ovens said at the time: “Private use of e-scooters remains illegal on London roads.

“Riders using e-scooters on the road risk fines, points on their licence, and e-scooter seizures if they continue to use them on public road networks.”

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