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Date posted: 16th December 2022
The government has today published the findings report of the national evaluation of e-scooter rental trials in England. The report examines how and why rental e-scooters are used, as well as safety, environmental and wider social impacts of their use. It is believed to be one of the largest evaluations of e-scooters internationally in terms of the breadth of data collected.
The report was commissioned by the Department for Transport (DfT) and undertaken by Arup and NatCen Social Research. It includes data collected between July 2020 and the end of December 2021.
Mike Bell, Head of Public Affairs and Campaigns at Thomas Pocklington Trust, said: “We welcome the publication of this report as an important contribution to the debate on e-scooters. It focuses on rental trials and references the work that we have done, together with our Sight Loss Councils, partners and operators to implement safety measures that have made a real difference.
“The report is also clear that concerns about dangerous behaviour and pavement riding by users remain a serious problem. It also emphasises the issues poor parking and pavement clutter cause for the safety of pedestrians, especially those with a visual impairment. The challenges with widespread e-scooter use are still very much apparent. Whilst improvements have been made, there is more work to be done.
“We urge the DfT to fast track further strengthening of the rules around rental trials to ensure that off-pavement fixed parking locations are required and that acoustic vehicle alert systems are fitted to all rental e-scooters as quickly as possible. Without these measures, rental e-scooters are a significant safety concern for blind and partially sighted people.
“We also urge the DtT to quickly consult on proposals to regulate private e-scooter use. With as many as one million e-scooters on our streets, the time has come for the wild west of use, enforcement, and regulation to be tackled. Ministers have indicated that a Transport Bill, including regulation of e-scooters, is likely to be delayed, perhaps for years. Any delay means more chaos on our streets and greater risks to visually impaired people. ”