Local authorities must take an active role in deployment of e-Scooters, says Cenex report

Local authorities must begin to take an active role in the deployment of e-Scooters in order to maximise their benefits, concludes a report from Cenex.

e-Scooters are an active and sustainable form of travel with the ability to reduce congestion, improving journey times in city centres as well as producing less CO2 compared to alternative transport methods.

Research shows that 58% of UK car journeys are less than 5 miles, and in urban environments 69% of car journeys are less than 3 miles. Furthermore, congestion causes an average of 178 lost hours per year with an associated cost of £8 billion. An opportunity for e-Scooters to replace car journeys is  highlighted through Cenex’s data as it states e-Scooter journeys can reduce CO2 emissions by between 66-90% when they replace car travel in cities.

“Local authorities need to take an active role in the deployment of e-Scooters in their regions, setting out regulations for operators in order to ensure that e-scooters meet both their ambitions and their citizens’ needs.”, said David Philipson, Transport Technical Specialist at Cenex. “It is evident that e-Scooters are here to stay, with operators committed to continual improvements for the benefit of both the environment and society. Though still in its infancy as an industry, e-scooters are already providing a genuine, affordable, green solution to private car use in city centres which will only improve over time.”

However, without appropriate implementation, management, and regulation, Cenex warns that electric scooters can disrupt the transport network entirely. Additionally, they claim that by distributing them before legislation has been developed will inevitably result in safety concerns and possible accidents.

Public authorities are therefore encouraged to cooperate with private operators from the start to effectively integrate e-Scooters into a transport system where they complement active travel and public transport rather than compete against them. Knowledge of the local area should also be shared to identify key sites for deployment that will ensure a high proportion of car journeys are replaced, such as at bus and train stations, universities, and tourist attractions.

UK trials for rental e-Scooters began in June 2020 with the aim of allowing the government to assess their benefits as well as their impact on public space. Electric scooters are available to buy in the UK online and in stores, costing anywhere from £100 to more than £1000.

However, misinformation concerning e-Scooters has been all too apparent. Although you can purchase an e-Scooter in the UK, you are not legally able to ride it on a UK public road, cycle lane or pavement. It can only be used on private land, with the permission of the landowner.