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Evening Standard Comment: e-scooters could be part of the green solution, but the path remains a rocky one

·1-min read
Tier rental e-scooters that are to be trialled in London (TIER)
Tier rental e-scooters that are to be trialled in London (TIER)

Electric or e-scooters have long suffered the classic problem of many a new technology, in not quite being one thing or the other. Too fast for the pavement, too slow for the road, insufficiently bike-like for the cycle lane.

But, as we report today, Transport for London has confirmed a 12-month trial for rental e-scooters, allowing users to ride them on roads and in cycle lanes across five boroughs from next month.

Government has long struggled with how to regulate them. As things stand, it is illegal to use privately-owned e-scooters on public roads, pavements and in cycle lanes.

This should change, as e-scooters could be one part of the solution to cut emissions and go green. A pilot is the right response to the potential of e-scooters, and an opportunity to better understand the issues that need ironing out.

The road remains a dangerous place for all users, particularly those without the protection of crumple zones, autonomous emergency braking and airbags. But if scooters are allowed to race along pavements, pedestrians are at risk.

So a happy medium needs to be found. Sensible restrictions must remain in place to ensure the safety of e-scooter riders. Minimum age requirements should be enforced, speed limiters remain unhacked and in future safety courses should be provided.

Read More

Rental E-scooter trial to launch in London in June

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