Canterbury e-scooter rental trial to end in November

Kent County Council has announced that the Canterbury electric scooter trial is to finish at the end of November.

The council launched the trial of rental e-scooters in Canterbury with operator Bird on 2nd November 2020. The project aimed to bring affordable, environmentally friendly e-scooters to the city as part of the DfT national trial.

In a recent statement, KCC said: “Kent County Council (KCC) and our operating partner, Bird, are continuing to collect valuable data through the Canterbury electric scooter trial to share with the Department for Transport.

“In recent months Bird, working to deliver this trial for KCC, has introduced enhanced safety measures including a reduction of the electric scooter speeds from 15mph to 12mph. They have also increased Birdwatchers to patrol the city for pavement riding and changed their rider policy to introduce an immediate ban for any misdemeanour.

“However, KCC has decided to gradually reduce the number of vehicles in the trial, as well as the areas in which they operate, ahead of the trial finishing in Kent at the end of November.”

According to Kent Online, KCC’s cabinet member for transport, councillor David Brazier said he decided to “truncate it before someone was seriously hurt”, saying that e-scooter users had been riding routes not permitted by the official pilot.

He said: “You cannot legislate against people who will agree to use something in a certain way and then suit themselves. I tended to favour the trial going on, but it was quite obvious now accidents could have been worse than they were.

Read more: Transport for London to launch Santander e-bikes on Monday

“As we were nearing the end of the trial, I decided to truncate it before someone was seriously hurt. Recently an elderly lady was quite seriously injured by one being ridden on a pedestrian area which was not allowed.”

80-year-old Sarah Carter suffered a broken wrist and a cracked jaw and cheekbone after she was hit by an electric scooter in Canterbury earlier this year.

She was hit by a registered user of an e-scooter provided by Bird, who said they identified the rider and blocked them from the service.

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