Transport for London (TfL) and London Councils are extending the capital's trial of rental e-scooters in response to recently updated Department for Transport (DfT) guidance that allows local authority trials to continue until 31 May 2024.
This extension follows the recent government announcement of its plans to create a new vehicle category in legislation, in which e-scooters would be included.
Continuing the trial of rental services will ensure that London can continue to learn about e-scooters and the role that they can play in London's transport offer.
Current contracts with e-scooter operators Dott, Lime and TIER will be temporarily extended to ensure the trial can continue and Londoners can continue to hire e-scooters until this procurement is complete.
This will allow TfL and London Councils to continue to collect data on this new mode of transport and test new innovative technology such as audible alerts to improve safety for people walking.
'I'm pleased that TfL and London Councils have been able to extend the country's largest rental e-scooter trial, ' said Will Norman, London's Walking & Cycling Commissioner.
A competitive procurement for operators to run the next phase of London's rental e-scooter trial has now launched, and operators will be chosen on their ability to meet strict safety requirements and high operating standards.
The high safety requirements and high operating standards seen in the current trial will be further enhanced for the next phase, accounting for what has been learnt from the trial to date, feedback from customers and stakeholders, improvements in technology and what has been learnt from other cities and countries.
The contracts let under the new procurement may run for longer than the DfT national trial term (which ends on 31 May 2024) in anticipation of new legislation being passed.
Throughout the continuing trial, operators will continue to be required to provide critical data for TfL and the participating boroughs to understand the impact of e-scooters on London's transport goals, including the Vision Zero aim to eliminate death and serious injuries from London's roads.
Helen Sharp, TfL's e-scooter trial lead, said: 'E-scooters could play an important role in ensuring a green and sustainable future for London, which is why we're really pleased to be able to extend the e-scooter trial. We're working closely with London Councils on our plans for the next phase of the trial, which will help us build on its successes so far. We hope Londoners can continue to benefit from the trial and we will continue to use its data to learn more about the role e-scooters could play in helping people move around London sustainably.'
London's Cycle hire scheme's offering has also been expanded, with 500 e-bikes now available for hire across the scheme's 800 docking stations.
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