Council participating in 12 month trial to provide new active travel option
Don't try and take an e-scooter under the Fisher's Lane underpass
A 12-month trial started this Monday (7 June) of e-scooter rentals across London including parts of the borough of Ealing.
The scooters will be available around the town of Ealing, Acton and the part of Chiswick that is in the borough. They will not operate in the west of the borough including Northolt and Southall.
Electric scooters will also be available to hire and ride in Kensington and Chelsea, Hammersmith and Fulham and Richmond as well as in Canary Wharf, while the City of London is expected to join the trial next month. The borough of Hounslow is not participating and the scooters will de-activate if they are ridden into that local authority area.
A rental will cost between £3.25 and £3.40 for a 15-minute ride, with a fee to unlock the e-scooter as well as a per-minute fee for each ride. Participating in the trial is the only way to legally ride an e-scooter on public roads and cycle lanes in the capital - and only in the specific areas.
The council says it will be closely monitoring the trial and should it not meet the needs of residents and businesses, will be able to stop participating.
The rental e-scooters will be provided by three operators; Dott, Lime and TIER. E-scooters will be required to be parked in designated bays by hirers and operators. To hire an e-scooter, riders must be 18 or over and have a full or provisional driving licence.
The maximum speed limit will be capped to 12.5mph, 3mph slower than permitted in trials in the rest of the country.
It will remain illegal for e-scooters to be ridden on the footway.
Each e-scooter has a unique ID number which will be labelled clearly on the vehicle.
To rent an e-scooter download the operators app which will be signposted on the e-scooter. All operators charge £1 to unlock the e-scooter, with charges of 15p – 20p per minute afterwards.
Councillor Deirdre Costigan, Ealing’s deputy leader and member for climate action said, “We are fully committed to tackling the climate crisis, cleaning our air and ensuring the borough we build is sustainable.
“This e-scooter trial is designed to give residents another active travel option when making local journeys around participating areas of the borough. Reducing our use of cars for these shorter trips is vital as we look to improve air quality for residents and reach our goal of becoming carbon neutral as a borough by 2030.
“The roll-out of e-scooters in parts of Ealing is only a trial at this stage and we will be watching closely to make sure it meets the needs of local people and businesses.”
Will Norman, TfL’s walking and cycling commissioner, said that TfL wanted to explore how e-scooters can act as “an innovative alternative” to short car journeys in the capital.
Mr Norman said, “As we look to our capital’s future, we want to ensure a green and sustainable recovery from the pandemic. We know that a huge portion of car journeys in London are for very short distances, and we want to explore how e-scooters can act as an innovative alternative.
“E-scooters have been on our streets for some time now but with very little regulation. This trial will have safety at its heart, bringing in rigorous precautions and parking measures while taking the needs of all road users into account and seeing what role e-scooters can play in London’s future.”
The trial has been welcomed by transport watchdog London TravelWatch, with director Emma Gibson highlighting research that has shown that e-scooters “have the potential to be a much greener transport option for many people”.
But Ms Gibson warned that enforcement would be needed against users who “endanger others through anti-social behaviour or by riding on the pavement”.
Last week, concerns were raised about the trial after data from the Metropolitan Police revealed that more than 500 crimes in the past year, including robberies and assaults, were carried out by people riding e-scooters at the time.
London Assembly member Caroline Pidgeon, who raised the issue with the Mayor of London last month, said that “ensuring that crime committed by people using e-scooters is curbed is just another challenge that must be met”.
The e-scooters involved in the trial will each have a unique identification number and will be fitted with safety features such as GPS-controlled parking to ensure they are only parked in designated areas.
Metropolitan Police chief superintendent Simon Ovens has said that the Met is “pleased to support this trial” but has warned that the use of privately-owned e-scooters will remain illegal and “will be dealt with by way of seizure”.
If you are new to e-scooters there is taster demo session being run by Dott on Saturday 11 June 2021 at Ealing Common, W5 ETY, from 10:30 – 15:00. Book your place here.
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June 10, 2021