E-scooter trials will also 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 four Future Transport Zones, the trials of rental e-scooters – which will now be offered to local authorities 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.
Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands said: “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.”
The government has also pledged to work alongside the tech sector to see how technology could be used to help commuters stagger their journeys and advise on alternative modes of travel.
Leading transport tech experts including Google, Zipabout and Trainline met this week at a roundtable chaired by the Transport Secretary, to explore how technology could help ease overcrowding and reduce the risk of a second spike in coronavirus cases.
Potential solutions could include mobile phone apps warning when public transport is particularly busy or advising on a quieter time to travel, allowing people to flex their hours and prevent the transport network from being overburdened.