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E-scooter numbers set to double in size as more boroughs join TfL and London Council led trials

Transport for London (TfL) and London Councils have announced the expansion of the capital's trial of rental e-scooters, with e-scooters available to rent from Monday 5 July in the City of London and northern parts of Lambeth and people will be able to ride them in Southwark.

The expansion will mean that the number of vehicles will increase from around 600 to 1,200 across London and will now be available at even more key inner and central London destinations.

Following the Government's decision to legalise rental trials of e-scooters last month, TfL and London Councils launched a trial of rental e-scooters in the capital. The trial initially covered a core area including Ealing, Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington & Chelsea, Richmond, Tower Hamlets and Canary Wharf. This expansion means that the e-scooters can be hired and used in a wider area of central and inner London. TfL and London Councils are continuing discussions with boroughs about further expansions over the coming months.

Safety continues to be the top priority and TfL and London Councils' close monitoring of the trial will continue across the new areas.

Helen Sharp, TfL's e-scooter trial lead, said: “We've worked closely with the City of London, Lambeth and Southwark to ensure this expansion of the trial works for everybody in the area. London's safety-first trial of e-scooters is already providing vital data about the long-term role they could play in a greener and healthier future for the capital and this expansion will further help to shape UK and London policy in the area. Safety remains our top priority and we will continue to closely monitor e-scooters in the new and existing trial areas, making improvements wherever identified.”

The rental e-scooters have a number of safety features including always-on lights, GPS controlled parking and no-go zones - meaning they can only be parked in specified locations not obstructing the pavement and cannot be taken in certain areas, such as tunnels - and a unique identification number on every vehicle.  

The safety standards required in London go further than those set out at a national level, by requiring:

  • Users to be 18+

  • A lower maximum speed of 12.5mph, compared to the 15.5mph set nationally

  • Lights at the front and the rear of the vehicles that are always on throughout any rental

  • Larger wheels at least 12 inches in diameter, meaning they can navigate road surfaces more easily

  • Vehicles to come to safe stop in a 'no go' area, and safely reduce speed to 8mph in 'go slow' areas.

The operators also have additional safety mechanisms in place, including 'first ride policies', meaning riders must take an e-learning safety course before they hire for the first time, and lower maximum speeds in place for their first ride. TfL, London Councils and the operators also launched an extensive safety and awareness campaign to promote the importance of safety during the trial.

The use of privately owned e-scooters on public roads is not covered by the trial and remains illegal in the UK, as does riding any e-scooter, rental or private, on footways. The Metropolitan Police will continue their work engaging with e-scooter riders, and where necessary, will enforce the legislation regarding the use of privately owned e-scooters on the highway and on footways.


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