Transport for London (TfL) and London Councils have announced an expansion of the capital’s trial of rental e-scooters.
From today (July 5) e-scooters are available to rent in the City of London and northern parts of Lambeth and people will be able to ride them in Southwark.
The expansion increases the number of vehicles available across London from around 600 to 1,200.
Following the Government's decision to legalise rental trials of e-scooters, TfL and London Councils launched a trial of rental e-scooters in the capital last month.
The trial initially covered a core area including Ealing, Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea, Richmond, Tower Hamlets and Canary Wharf.
Will Norman, London’s walking and cycling commissioner, said: “I’m pleased that London’s rental e-scooter trial is expanding to cover the City of London, and parts of Lambeth and Southwark.
“Extending the footprint of the trial to more areas will enable us to get a better understanding of the role e-scooters can play in switching car journeys to greener and more sustainable alternatives.
“Safety continues to be at the heart of our trial, with London’s more stringent safety standards also in place in the new large area.”
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.
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.”
London’s e-scooter rental scheme could replace five million car trips in London annually if it reaches full capacity, according to one of London's e-scooter operators, Tier Mobility.
TfL and London Councils are continuing discussions with boroughs about further expansions over the coming months, TfL said.
In total, 32 areas across England are taking part in the e-scooter trials and the Government is not expected to make a decision on whether or not to permit the use of privately-owned e-scooters on public roads until after the trials complete next year.
Paul Hodgins, CEO of shared micromobility operator Ginger, which is involved in trials in Chester, Copeland (Whitehaven); Great Yarmouth; Milton Keynes; Scunthorpe Stafford; Hartlepool and Middlesbrough, says that the state of the law has “held back” market development and suggests if e-scooters are legalised the UK will become “the leading market” in Europe. Read the full interview here.