Those of you taking advantage of the sunny days to see more of London with the help of an e-scooter can breathe a sigh of relief that the convenient short-trip rental devices won’t be disappearing too soon.
TfL and London councils initially collaborated on a year-long of rental e-scooters across London which has now been extended to late November. Dott, Lime and TIER are the trio of e-scooter operators that have been whizzing Londoners around the city as part of the trial, which began in June 2021.
Since its launch, the trial has seen over a million journeys, encompassing more than 2.5 million kilometres travelled. Additionally, the trial has also grown to cover ten London boroughs with over 500 e-scooter-designated parking spaces, and more than 4,000 vehicles.
The project arrived with the aim to make greener transport options more accessible to Londoners, in order to improve air quality and decrease congestion. Plus, the hope was that if the trial takes off, it could help prevent a car-led recovery from the pandemic, something identified as a key priority of Sadiq Khan.
Warmer weather has seen an increased participation in the trial, with April being the busiest month so far. With each borough shaping their own approach to the trial, and legislation on its way, it’s possible that, even beyond the trial, the e-scooters could be here to stay. Currently, London already has the highest national standards for the rental vehicles. But further data from increased participation in the trial (thanks to the improved conditions) could see London leading the field in providing a greener, healthier, and more sustainable transport solution.
E-scooters are capped at 12.5mph, and riders will need to take an e-learning safety course before they hire an e-scooter for the first time, and are only permitted to ride them on roads and cycleways. Pavements will be completely off limits.
Helen Sharp, TfL’s e-scooter trial lead, said: “E-scooters could play an important role in ensuring a green and sustainable future for London and we’re really pleased to be able to extend the e-scooter trial to November.
“We’re working closely with operators, councils and people across London to build on the success of the trial so far and we’re pleased that people will continue to benefit until the autumn.
The anonymised data we gather is crucial and we’ll be analysing this closely so that we can learn more about the role e-scooters could play in helping people move around London sustainably.”
So next time you’re tempted to rent an e-scooter, out and about in London, remember: you’re not just helping yourself. You’re also helping London the world.