UK-based micromobility operator Beryl has responded to the Government’s official e-scooter trial report, saying the legalisation of private scooters would help improve safety.
Last week the Department for Transport published its independent review of e-scooter schemes, which found that e-scooters were driving a shift away from private vehicles.
The report also revealed the most popular e-scooter trials in the country, with Beryl operated schemes in Bournemouth and Poole ranking among the most popular.
Beryl CEO and co-founder, Phil Ellis, said: “What these trials have shown us is that the demand for shared e-scooter schemes is there, and that such schemes can continue to flourish alongside private ownership.
“By legalising their use, the Government would break down further barriers to sustainable transport, making e-scooters more accessible, boost their popularity and normalise their presence on our roads.
“This would amplify calls for better infrastructure, which would not only improve safety, but also the perception of safety, and encourage even more people to leave their car keys at home.”
Figures from the report show that Bournemeouth and Poole is the second most-used scheme in the country, with an average of four trips per scooter per day. Beryl’s Norwich scheme is fifth on the leaderboard of 32 schemes, with 3.4 trips per scooter per day.
Since Beryl introduced the first of its three trial schemes (Bournemouth and Poole, Norwich and Isle of Wight) in September 2020, it has generated more than 1,115,000 journeys across 3,711,749 km. Feedback from users indicates that over 31% of these journeys have replaced road transport journeys which, based on industry calculations, has led to a saving of nearly 50 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.
Councillor Mike Greene, BCP Council’s portfolio holder for sustainability and transport said: “We’re pleased to be participating in the Department for Transport’s trial of rental e-scooters; usage has far exceeded our expectations. Research also highlights how e-scooter journeys can help cut both carbon emissions and traffic congestion.
“The notable success and popularity of the trial in the BCP region reflects our on-going commitment to sustainable travel and our existing Bike Share scheme, giving people convenient and attractive travel choices. We look forward to developing the scheme in the future, with further investment in e-bikes planned for spring 2023.”
Councillor Lana Hempsall, sustainable transport champion for Norfolk County Council said: “We’re thrilled that the scheme in Norwich has been such a success and continues to grow with more bays being launched each month.
“More than one million km have been travelled on the green e-scooters which are now well known across Norwich. Many of our locals and visitors have become ‘Beryl converts’ using them to make those shorter journeys to work, education and leisure, rather than taking their car.
“The scheme is proving to be a highly valuable tool in getting more cars off the road and helping us to achieve our targets around Net Zero.”