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E-scooter companies chosen for London trial

Dott, Lime and Tier have been appointed to take part following the selection process, where their ability to meet strict safety requirements and high operating standards was carefully considered.

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Dott (above), Lime and Tier will participate in the London pilot
Dott (above), Lime and Tier will participate in the London pilot

London transport regulators have selected three e-scooter operators for a pilot that could help “shape London and the UK’s future policy on e-scooters”.

 

Following the government’s announcement, last year, to legalise rental trials of e-scooters run by local authorities, Transport for London (TfL) and London Councils launched an open and competitive procurement process for the planned trial of an e-scooter rental scheme in London.

 

Strict safety requirements

 

Operators Dott, Lime and Tier Mobility have been appointed to take part in the trial following the process, where their ability to meet strict safety requirements and high operating standards was carefully considered.

 

The pilot, which will run for up to 12 months, will commence 7 June in a core group of London boroughs: Ealing, Hammersmith and Fulham, the City of London, Kensington and Chelsea and Richmond upon Thames as well as Canary Wharf. Further boroughs will act as “ride-through” areas, which riders may travel through but not start or end e-scooter rides.

 

According to the regulators, the trial has the potential to be the biggest tendered e-scooter scheme in Europe, and is part of a wider effort to reduce reliance on private cars and help the capital recover from Covid-19 as safely and sustainably as possible.

“This new trial will provide the data and insights we need to determine the longer-term role e-scooters could play in our strategy for a greener and healthier future for London”

The safety standards required will go further than those set out at a national level, by requiring:

  • a lower maximum speed of 12.5mph
  • lights at the front and the rear of the vehicles that are always on throughout any rental
  • audible warning systems that can be used without adjusting the rider’s grip of the handlebar.

The operators will also have other safety mechanisms in place, including “first ride policies” where riders will need to take an e-learning safety course before they hire for the first time.

 

“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,” said Helen Sharp, e-scooter trial lead at TfL.

 

“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.”

 

She continued: “This new trial will provide the data and insights we need to determine the longer-term role e-scooters could play in our strategy for a greener and healthier future for London.”

 

Boroughs, Canary Wharf and the City of London will control parking locations for e-scooters, providing marked designated bays to protect against street clutter and ensure footways are kept free.

 

Geo-fencing technology will be a requirement for every rental e-scooter. This system is intended to ensure that e-scooters are not parked outside of these designated spaces as the hiring of a rental e-scooter can only be ended once parked in a designated bay.

 

There will also be mandatory response times for the operators in cases where vehicles have been improperly parked, are damaged or are causing an obstruction. Boroughs will also be able to specify ’go-slow’ areas where the speed of e-scooters will be automatically limited to 8mph.

“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”

TfL, London Councils, the participating areas and the selected operators said they will continue to work together over the coming weeks to prepare for the start of the trial, ensuring that London’s streets are ready and engaging with local communities.

 

The organisations involved in the trial will also carry out education and awareness outreach to ensure that Londoners are prepared for the new trial.

 

“The rental e-scooter trial has the potential to support our city-wide response to the coronavirus pandemic and boost London’s green recovery,” added Philip Glanville, mayor and chair of London Councils’ Transport and Environment Committee.

 

“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.”

 

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