London could see the launch of a new e-scooter hire network within the next year as the Department for Transport pushes forward with new ways to ease pressure on public transport as it tries to get everyone back to work.
“The Government is going to drastically change the way we commute and move around our cities and towns – the shift toward moving people, not vehicles. Electric scooters could be a common sight on the roads around London within a year”, reports Jonathan Ratcliffe from London Office Space Provider Offices.co.uk
“We are looking at ways to incorporate the demand for electric scooters into the fabric of our London properties, we think they could be as popular as they are on the Continent”, Ratcliffe added.
Trials are being set up in Birmingham and Coventry to test the technology and benefits that e-scooters could bring to city travel. If successful, the trials would be extended out to other cities such as London.
Currently, electric scooters can only be used on private property, and would need to be proved safe to rollout across the country.
Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street, who is part of the trial, said: “This trial will help bring more flexibility, choice, and greener travel solutions for the region, at a time when we are facing a climate emergency and urging people to leave the car at home.
“We will also use the trial to look at the current transport challenges the coronavirus pandemic has presented us with and explore how e-scooters could be used to help tackle them.”
The future of transport in London must be about a wide range of options and choices. The focus in the future will be on moving people not vehicles. With a relatively young demographic profile in London, e-scooters could be a valuable and attractive part of the solution to help people move around the city.
The trial will look closely at how e-scooters are able to support connectivity between key public transport interchanges and local centres. It will also look to the use of e-scooters in other countries. E-scooters are already available to hire in cities such as Barcelona and Vienna.
Using a dock system, they can be quickly hired and transported on other forms of public transport giving people greater flexibility to travel. They can be more appealing to some users than traditional bike hire as they are more manoeuvrable and do not require as much fitness to operate.
“The rollout of a Boris bike style e-scooter network in London could mean the need for short hop taxis would be redundant – lowering emissions and encouraging less car use. We are really excited about this news”, concludes Jonathan Ratcliffe from London Office Space Provider Offices.co.uk
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