Electric scooters hit the streets of London as trial period begins

Electric scooters are being tested in a number of restricted areas across London as part of a trial period.

As of today (7th June), customers can rent an electric scooter to ride around certain parts of the capital, including Canary Wharf, Ealing, Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington & Chelsea and Richmond.

Similar trials have taken place across more rural areas of the UK since July last year.

The launch of the 12-month trial set up by Transport for London has been met with some criticism and scrutiny over the safety of the vehicles, following a handful of accidents elsewhere in the UK.

However, Alan Clarke, director of policy at Lime, one of the companies involved in the trial, said electric scooters are “as safe as possible.”

He said: “The safety standards are really, really high and that contrasts starkly with private e-scooters, which don’t have to pass any standards at all in order to be put onto the street, because by definition they’re already illegal.”

Private e-scooters are only legally allowed to be used in the UK on private land, despite their popularity on roads and pavements.

Clarke continued: “I think people are going to really notice that and we certainly expect people to look at the scooters that we’re putting and see how much safer those are.

“There’s a real demand from people to use this form of zero-emission and convenient transport.

“As we start to build back again coming out of lockdown and bounce back after the pandemic, what we’re already seeing is that people are looking for new ways to travel.”

Lime CEO, Wayne Ting, commented last month: “We’re proud to have already served more than 400,000 Londoners through our shared e-bike service over the last three years, and are delighted to now be able to bring our latest e-scooters to London.

“By offering two safe, convenient and zero-emission travel options through the Lime app, we hope to serve all trips under five miles and contribute to the development of a greener transport system that’s accessible for everyone.”

The electric scooters have been fitted with a number of safety features, including dual braking and high visibility.

The vehicles have also been limited to a maximum speed of 12.5mph, which is below the 15.5mph limit set by the Department for Transport.

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