Residents and visitors to five London boroughs will be able to rent e-scooters from June 7th thanks to a 12-month trial being run by Transport for London and London Councils.
Three operators – Dott, Lime and TIER – have been selected to provide scooters following an open tender process initiated after the government gave local authorities permission to run trials in their area.
TfL and London Councils say their scheme will have tougher safety standards than required under the national rules, including by imposing a maximum speed of 12.5mph, mandating front and rear lights that are always on throughout the rental, and fitting audible warning systems that can be used without affecting the rider’s grip of the handlebar.
Riders will also need to take an e-learning safety course before they hire for the first time and scooters will only be allowed to be used on roads and cycleways.
Scooters will be available in Ealing, Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea, Richmond, the City of London and in Canary Wharf. Boroughs and Canary Wharf will control parking locations and geo-fencing technology will be used to ensure scooters aren’t parked outside of designated spaces.
Operators will also have to ensure rental prices take into account the needs of people on lower incomes and offer discounts to certain groups, including key workers.
Will Norman, London’s Walking & Cycling Commissioner, said: “We want to ensure a green, sustainable recovery from coronavirus, and e-scooters are an alternative to cars that could help with this.
“The safety of those using e-scooters, as well as other road users and pedestrians, is absolutely paramount, so it’s important that they are trialled in this rigorous way to ensure high standards.
“We look forward to exploring the role that e-scooters could play in London’s future.”
Helen Sharp, TfL’s e-scooter trial lead, said: “We’re doing all we can to support London’s safe and sustainable recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and it’s clear that e-scooters could act as an innovative, greener alternative to car trips.
“Safety remains our number one priority and we will work closely with the e-scooter operators, London Councils and the boroughs to ensure rigorous standards are consistently met.”
Mayor Philip Glanville, Chair of London Councils’ Transport and Environment Committee, said: “The rental e-scooter trial has the potential to support our city-wide response to the coronavirus pandemic and boost London’s green recovery.
“It will be important to see how this new service impacts London’s existing transport network and carbon emissions and how inclusive it is of the travel needs of all Londoners – especially those on lower incomes.”