E-scooter trials will be brought forward from next year to next month, to help encourage more people off public transport and onto greener alternatives.
Originally set to take place in 4 Future Transport Zones, the trials of rental e-scooters – which will now be offered to all local areas across the country – will allow government to assess the benefits of e-scooters as well as their impact on public space, with the potential to see rental vehicles on UK roads as early as June.
The trials were announced today by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps alongside government plans to help more people cycle and walk.
Part of those plans included pop-up bike lanes with protected space for cycling, wider pavements, safer junctions, and cycle and bus-only corridors will be created in England within weeks. A £250 million emergency active travel fund, the first stage of a £2 billion investment, is part of the £5 billion in new funding announced for cycling and buses in February.
Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands said: “The West Midlands is proud to be leading the way on future transport development, and I am pleased the government has put its faith in us again with this new and innovative trial of e-scooters.
“This trial will help bring more flexibility, choice, and greener travel solutions for the region, at a time when we are facing a climate emergency and urging people to leave the car at home.
“We will also use the trial to look at the current transport challenges the coronavirus pandemic has presented us with and explore how e-scooters could be used to help tackle them.
“No region is better equipped than the West Midlands to test, review, and implement trials such as these at pace and scale, and that is testament to the hard work and innovation of those working in our future transport sector.”