Industry reacts to UK e-scooter trials

UK e-scooter trials are finally going ahead this week after being given the green light from 4th July.

The trials are designed to help understand whether the devices reduce motor traffic, as well as their impacts on safety for their users and others. They will be strictly prohibited on pavements, will be limited to 15.5mph and riders are recommended to wear helmets.

Users will need a full or provisional car, motorcycle or moped licence to take part in the trials, and must be 16 or over. To avoid a flood of poor-quality scooters onto the streets, the regulations only cover rental schemes.

Here’s how the burgeoning micromobility industry responded to a huge step in the right direction for greener transport.

Fredrik Hjelm, CEO, Voi
“Cities urgently need to give people more transport options to help them get around, as traffic is rapidly returning to UK streets. Voi is delighted that the UK now has legislation in place because not only are e-scooters better for the environment but they can also help people start to resume their normal lives. We acknowledge that it’s a huge task for councils and authorities to get the pilots up and running by the end of August, not least with all of the other challenges they face right now.”

“Voi was started with a mission to provide a way of transport that was more convenient and better for our environment than cars, and we have demonstrated across Europe that we can help replace short car journeys of one to three miles with e-scooter trips. The UK needs that option now more than ever and we hope this will help start a revolution in micro-mobility or all types, with people using bikes, e-scooters and cargo bikes to get on with their lives.”

Tom McPhail, director of public affairs, Pure Electric
“It’s fantastic news the Government is fast-tracking scooter trials and we’re very supportive of them. We are confident that at the end of the trials scooters will be made legal for use on roads and cycle tracks but not pavements. There is widespread recognition electric scooters have a valuable role to play in improving our transport ecosystem and reducing our environmental impact. However, some people are also wary of this new technology and its potential impact, particularly on vulnerable road and pavement users. So the trials will provide us with the data, experience and insights to better understand how scooters can be made legal while minimising the risk of any negative outcomes.”

Zachary Wang, CEO, Neuron Mobility
“We welcome the DfT’s announcement and are excited to be one step closer to the starting the e-scooter trials. We are already in discussions with quite a few councils, as no two towns or cities are the same we look forward to partnering with them to safely introduce e-scooters in a way that best suits their individual needs. Our close collaboration with councils in has led to quite a few more world-firsts and we are constantly working with them to introduce new features to improve safety and also rider experience.

“COVID-19 has led to a fundamental rethink of the way we travel and e-scooters have the potential to radically improve how we get around our towns and cities. We are delighted that people in the UK will soon be able to benefit from shared e-scooters, they will allow people to continue social distancing while also providing a more efficient travel option than gas-guzzling alternatives.”

Richard Dilks, CEO of CoMoUK
“E-scooter trials will help us to pivot further to more sustainable transport, which we urgently need given transport’s record on greenhouse gas emissions. Operators and authorities need to come together to prioritise safety, data, parking, viability and user experience as well as making e-scooters low-risk from COVID-19. We at CoMoUK look forward to working with Voi and other operators, the Department for Transport and local authorities up and down the country to bring shared scooter schemes to the UK and work to dovetail them with other shared and sustainable transport options.”

David Parry-Jones, VP EMEA, Twilio
“Micromobility solutions are going to be a critical part of enabling people to travel without increasing pressure on public transport systems as lockdown eases. Consumers, businesses and the public sector alike want to avoid putting additional pressure on existing public transport infrastructure right now, and also need to ensure that they are complying with social distancing guidelines where feasible. E-mobility options can help.

“The beauty of the IoT-powered model is that you can connect people quickly. For instance, London boroughs that currently don’t have easy links with central London can be quickly brought into the fold with options like e-bikes, and also e-scooters pending their approval by regulators. This is a great opportunity to use the power of software to start rolling out greener, more sustainable transport options quickly – electric scooters and bikes only emit 1-2% of what a car does.”

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