Nearly a million journeys made since hire scheme launched last year
Londoners will be able to continue hiring e-scooters until at least November this year, as TfL announces an extension to the trial scheme.
Launched last June, the trial saw rental e-scooters introduced in several London boroughs including Hammersmith & Fulham and Ealing in a bid to explore how they could be used to prevent a car-led recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic and contribute to a sustainable transport network.
The TfL trial is currently the only legal way to use an e-scooter in London, with the use of privately-owned e-scooters currently banned under UK law.
Almost one million e-scooter journeys have been made using TfL’s hire scheme since it launched in June last year.
On Thursday (19 May), TfL announced that it was extending the trial – which was due to end this summer – until 20 November in order to help “shape our understanding of the role that e-scooters could play in the capital’s transport network”.
Will Norman, London’s walking and cycling commissioner, said, “London’s e-scooter trial has proven to be very popular, with more than 1 million trips taken, so I am pleased that TfL and London Councils have been able to extend the trial to November. The trial is helping to shape our understanding of the role that e-scooters could play in the capital’s transport network and helping to inform future Government legislation on these vehicles.
“Ensuring a green, sustainable future for London is a top priority – with the right regulations that prioritise safety, e-scooters are an alternative to cars that could help us get there.”
Concerns have been raised during the trial including from groups representing people with disabilities who say e-scooters present an extra hazard both when been ride and when deposited at the side of the road.
Londoners can currently hire e-scooters provided by operators Tier, Dott and Lime from 10 London boroughs – Camden, the City of London, Ealing, Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea, Lambeth, Richmond, Southwark, Tower Hamlets and Westminster.
Last week, the Government announced that e-scooters could be included in the upcoming Transport Bill, which would introduce new licensing and safety regulations for privately-owned e-scooters.
Katharina Winbeck, strategic lead for transport and environment at London Councils, said the TfL trial in London will “be very important to inform this new legislation to ensure e-scooters are rolled out safely in local areas.”
Rental e-scooters provided by Tier, Dott and Lime are fitted with safety features that are not standard on private models, such as a restricted top speed of 12.5 miles per hour, larger wheels and lights that are always on.
In the 11 months that the trial has been taking place, operators have reported a total of 16 serious injuries involving rental e-scooters.
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May 20, 2022