Gloucestershire County Council has described e-scooters as an ‘exciting step into the future of green travel options’, after announcing trials are commencing this month.
The 12-month trials will take place in Gloucester and Cheltenham, in a bid to support a ‘green’ restart of local travel and help mitigate reduced public transport capacity due to the pandemic.
The trials will start with 40 e-scooters situated in designated parking bays across each location. This will expand to more than 60 over time.
Cllr Nigel Moor, cabinet member responsible for environment and transport, said: “E-scooters are an exciting step into the future of green travel options and I am thrilled Gloucester and Cheltenham have been chosen to host a Government trial.
“I’m proud we are thinking outside of the box and looking at all options when it comes to carbon free transport. I hope residents, businesses and visitors will give it a try.”
The trial is being delivered by Zwings, who are undertaking a number of safety focused initiatives to deliver rider education and promote responsible riding.
Joe Lewin, CEO of Zwings, said, “As a British operator, we are taking pride in designing and deploying personalised e-scooter rental schemes in Gloucester and Cheltenham that will support residents and visitors by providing them affordable access to a social distancing transport solution that promotes sustainability.
“We recognise that the first few months will be crucial to gain an understanding of the community’s response. This way we can continually seek to improve our service in order to best suit individual needs, including vulnerable groups such as the partially sighted.”
Currently, privately-owned e-scooters are banned to use in the UK anywhere except on private land.
Trials of rental e-scooters were legalised earlier this year, and have been launched in cities across the country, including Norwich.
Last week, the Transport Committee backed the legalisation of e-scooters, saying they have the potential to offer a ‘low cost, accessible and environmentally friendly alternative’ to the private car.
However, the Committee stresses any plans for legalisation should not be to the detriment of pedestrians, particularly disabled people.