School of Science, Engineering and Environment 06.07.20

Are you e-scooter ready?

E-scooters have now become legal on roads in England, Scotland and Wales with preparations underway to get the vehicles onto the streets of cities. 

50 councils have expressed interest in hosting an e-scooter scheme with Middlesbrough being the first town to trial a pilot.  So, what do we need to know about the UK rollout?

Healthy Active Cities is a research group formed at the university that brings together researchers, stakeholders and industry to investigate sustainable and active travel behaviours.  The subject area is multi- disciplinary and joins together the expertise of academics in the schools of Health and Society, and Science, Engineering and Environment. Following the news on the legalisation of e-scooter the Healthy Active Cities Group said:

“The trials in Britain over the next 12 months will be an opportunity for the country to understand the impacts of e-scooters on travel in towns and cities. The recent sharp increase in infrastructure such as pop-up cycle lanes may allow trips that were previously taken by car or public transport to be safely taken by e-scooter instead.

“But safe and dedicated infrastructure is needed to maximise adoption of the schemes. There have been increases in temporary pop-up walking and cycling infrastructure during lockdown and the government has pledged £2 billion to support cycling and walking. The presence of new micromobility modes such as e-scooters make these spaces even more important and mean that they should potentially be further enlarged.

“There are also other challenges to consider. E-scooters are often hailed as a sustainable mobility solution in cities but they do have certain environmental impacts. For example, the use of diesel vans to collect, charge and redistribute the scooters will produce its own CO₂ emissions. Bike share schemes have also been accused of generating large amounts of waste from damaged or discarded bikes. As a result, e-scooter companies need to work closely with local authorities and planners to minimise these impacts.”

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