TIER, Dott and Lime, the three operators chosen for the London e-scooter trials, have welcomed the expansion of the trials into Westminster.
Shared e-scooters became available in Westminster on 2 August, with the trial already covering Ealing, Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington & Chelsea, Richmond, Tower Hamlets, Canary Wharf, City of London, Lambeth and Southwark.
Launched in June, the London trials are part of the wider UK e-scooter trials which have been designed to test the feasibility of the transport mode being made legal in the future.
The trials are set to end in March 2022, with TfL and London Councils continuing discussions with boroughs about further expansions over the coming months.
Following the expansion into Westminster, TfL e-scooter trial lead Helen Sharp said: “This second expansion of the trial area will provide even more data and insights on the long-term role e-scooters could play in a sustainable future for the capital. Safety continues to be our top priority for the trial and we continue to work with the e-scooter operators, London Councils and the boroughs to ensure rigorous standards are being met.”
There were 35,000 trips made on e-scooters during the first four weeks of the trial, with the average rental lasting 24 minutes over an average distance of 2.9km.
The number of e-scooters involved in the trial will gradually increase to 2,700 over the next few weeks.
The addition of Westminster represents the second expansion since the launch in June – following the addition of City of London, Lambeth and Southwark in July – and TIER, Dott and Lime were all encouraged to see the scale of the trials continuing to grow.
“Westminster joining is great news for Londoners and the trial as it means that riders can now travel across large parts of the city uninterrupted, so improving the scheme’s connectivity,” UK & Ireland Head of Cities at TIER Georgia Yexley told Zag.
“As we expand into one of the busiest Boroughs in London, the safety of riders and the wider public is our top priority.
Dott UK general manager Duncan Robertson added: “With the addition of these central London boroughs a bridge has now been formed between the two original operating zones, leading to an improved rider rental experience and more extensive operating area. Through the expansion of our sustainable fleet, we aim to offer an alternative mode of transport to these congested boroughs, as well as support in the ‘back to office’ recovery.”
Alan Clarke, the Director of Policy Northern Europe for Lime, echoed the thoughts of the fellow operators.
“It’s been fantastic to see the appetite for the trial so far and the recent expansion to Westminster has opened up a huge area for Londoners to travel around in an environmentally friendly and safe way,” he told Zag.
“So far our, our e-scooters have been ridden around 40,000 times across the capital in addition to our shared e-bike scheme which is available across the city and this latest expansion has allowed our fleet to grow even further.”