E-scooter trial extended as riders prefer them to cars but some not convinced: ‘Nightmare’

E-Scooters branded ‘disaster’ by commentator calling for ban

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Sunderland City Council found that 42 percent of riders said the scooters had encouraged them to use their cars less. In March, 300 of the electric-powered vehicles were made available to hire as part of an eight-month trial.

The trial was operated by Neuron Mobility in partnership with the City Council.

Neuron provided Sunderland with 300 distinctive orange e-scooters that had been deployed across the city.

When the scheme was launched, Neuron provided free monthly passes to NHS and emergency services staff.

They also offered free rides for commuters between 5am to 9am every weekday for the first three months of the trial.

The scooters can only be used by adults who hold a full or provisional driving licence.

So far, more than 42,000 trips had been made on the scooters, which had cut back on an estimated 12,000 car journeys.

The trial will now end in March 2022.

Claire Rowntree, deputy leader of the council, said the extension was in line with allowing the Government and Department for Transport to gather more information on how trials were working.

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She said: “The evidence gathered will guide final decisions about whether and, if so, how to fully legalise the use of e-scooters.

“It is important that Sunderland continues to take part in the trial, as data collected will contribute to deciding the long-term vision of sustainable and active travel in the city and the UK.

“Government ministers have approved an extension of the current e-scooter trials from November 30, 2021 to March 31, 2022.

“The guiding principle for this change is trial continuation rather than expansion or market development.”

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