Plans to bring forward national trials of e-scooters present a ‘once in a lifetime opportunity’ to make ‘positive changes’ to transport infrastructure, according to a leading road safety charity.
Earlier this month, transport secretary Grant Shapps announced trials of electric scooters would start in June, as part of the Government’s transition out of lockdown restrictions.
IAM RoadSmart says while there are still important road safety questions to be answered, the Government should embrace the opportunity to make improvements to transport infrastructure at a time when travel needs are changing.
The charity points to the findings of a survey, which it says highlights a growing acceptance of e-scooters as a mode of transport.
More than three quarters of respondents (76%) showed support for allowing e-scooters to use cycle lanes – while 39% would support their use on the road.
Around three quarters also see e-scooters as likely to be used for short trips, such as first/last mile journeys and short local trips (74% and 72% respectively).
IAM RoadSmart says the Covid-19 pandemic may have had a positive impact on the number of people who believe that e-scooters are a serious mode of transport.
Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart’s director of policy and research, said: “Now is the time to make changes to the transport infrastructure.
“People’s travelling needs are changing and are likely to be different for some considerable time to come. This is a great opportunity and one to be embraced, but more evidence of the best way to make these changes safely is needed.
“So the plans to bring forward the Government’s trial of e-scooters are a welcome announcement.”