The UK government will not expand the e-scooter trial zones during their planned extension until 31 May 2024.
Baroness Vere of Norbiton, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Transport, confirmed: “The extension will be restricted to existing trial areas only and will allow us to gather further evidence where gaps are identified, building on the findings of the current evaluation.
“Evidence we are gathering through these trials and other data sources is helping us to understand the safety and wider impacts of e-scooters. We intend to publish the findings from the current national evaluation later this year.”
While the trials are currently live in 31 regions across England, the industry had urged the government not to restrict the extension to existing schemes. This was so that new cities could reap the benefits of micromobility and help reduce carbon-emitting trips.
Voi’s Head of Public Policy for UK, Ireland and the Netherlands Matthew Pencharz told Zag Daily: “While we look forward to continuing to work with our city partners to meet the growing demand for this affordable and convenient transport alternative, we are aware that this decision will impact the decarbonisation plans of many other cities across the UK that were keen to join the micromobility revolution but won’t be able to do so for the time being.”
This confirmation from the government, which was obtained by the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS), means the existing trials will run up to 30 November 2022.
Local authorities can then choose to withdraw from the trials or continue with an extension to 31 May 2024.
“The trials so far have shown how micromobility adds to the transport mix and can get people out of cars,” TIER’s General Manager for UK and Ireland, Georgia Yexley, told Zag. “We look forward to working with the Department for Transport and other stakeholders to ensure this next stage of the trials also focuses on lowering barriers to access and reducing friction so we can deliver the maximum benefits of micromobility to the UK.”