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Bid for rental e-scooters trial in Shrewsbury

By Nick Humphreys | Shrewsbury | Transport | Published:

A bid has been submitted for electric scooters to be trialled in Shrewsbury.

Shropshire Council has put a bit in for government funding and transport boss Steve Davenport hopes it will help people switch to greener travel options.

Transport minister Rachel Maclean announced new regulations earlier this month allowing trials of rental e-scooters.

The trials are designed to help understand whether the devices reduce regular traffic, as well as their impacts on safety for their users and others. They will be strictly prohibited on pavements, will be limited to 15.5mph and riders are recommended to wear helmets.

Users will need a full or provisional car, motorcycle or moped licence to take part in the trials, and must be 16 or over. To avoid a flood of poor-quality scooters onto the streets, the regulations only cover rental schemes.

Individually-owned scooters will still be illegal on public roads.

Councillor Davenport, Shropshire Council cabinet member for highways, said: "We're bidding into government grants to allow electric scooter hire. It would probably run from the park and ride sites.

Impact

"These are the kind of aspirations we need to have. We've got to do more to allow for active urban travel."

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Electric scooters are a popular fixture in cities across Europe, but their safety on the roads has been questioned after a number of accidents. Last July, YouTube star Emily Hartridge died after colliding with a lorry while riding a scooter.

Transport Minister Rachel Maclean said: "As we emerge from lockdown, we have a unique opportunity in transport to build back in a greener, more sustainable way that could lead to cleaner air and healthier communities across Great Britain.

"E-scooters may offer the potential for convenient, clean and cost-effective travel that may also help ease the burden on the transport network, provide another green alternative to get around and allow for social distancing. The trials will allow us to test whether they do these things.

"The trials, which are due to last for 12 months, will be closely monitored so the government can assess the benefits of e-scooters and their impact on public space.

"The rental schemes will involve leading companies in the industry from Great Britain and across the globe working closely with local authorities to provide a plan for the controlled introduction of e-scooters in cities, towns and rural areas."

Nick Humphreys

By Nick Humphreys
Senior Reporter

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star focusing on Shrewsbury.

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