Transport for London (TfL) has collaborated with London Councils to launch a new competition. They will select up to three operators for a 12-month trial of rental e-scooters.
TfL E-Scooters Initiative
TfL, London Councils and London’s boroughs are working together on trialling rental e-scooters in the capital. The aim of the initiative is to promote safety standards and develop a better understanding of the impact of e-scooters on London’s roads. The competition, launched today, is open to all e-scooter operators. They will select up to three for the 12-month trial, due to start in spring 2021.
As of summer 2020, the Department for Transport (DfT) allows UK local authorities to trial e-scooters as part of a rental scheme. Although, the changes do not cover the use of privately owned e-scooters on public roads which is still illegal in the UK. In fact, the Metropolitan Police will be continuing their work to clamp down on use of privately owned e-scooters around London. All boroughs have the opportunity to get involved in what looks to be the largest trial in the UK.
These trials are part of a wider approach across London to adopt greener forms of transport. The envisioned future is one with fewer cars, better air quality and decreased congestion. It will also help support the shift towards less reliance on cars during the coronavirus pandemic.
Participating operators will be screened for strict safety regulations and operating standards. Each borough can begin with between 60-150 e-scooters, with the potential to increase their fleet size over the course of the trial. Additionally, they will help provide invaluable data on the impact of e-scooters on London’s transport goals. Long-term, these scooters could support the Mayor’s Healthy Streets Approach. It could hugely impact Vision Zero, a shift to alternative transport and zero emission targets. Thus, the findings have the potential to influence future legislation.
Exciting New Step
Duncan Robertson, Dott UK’s General Manager, expressed optimism for the new initiative. He said that they are “very supportive of the high bar for safety and scooter quality set by TfL”. Additionally, they are encouraged by “data from several European cities where e-scooters are part of the mobility infrastructure clearly [demonstrating] how vital they can be in supporting public transport, cutting the number of car journeys and contributing to improved air quality. This trial will hopefully be the first-step toward a green revolution for urban mobility in the capital. We’re confident that Londoners will embrace the flexibility that e-scooters bring and back calls for greater availability and access across the city”. Dott will be pitching for the tender after seeing significant growth across Europe.