Yesterday was a big day for Milton Keynes, as the new town famous for many things including its roundabouts took the accolade of becoming the first place to offer 500 e-scooters for hire following a change in the law last month allows large-scale rental services for battery-powered e-scooters. A bit like the ‘Boris Bike’ scheme that ran so successfully in London, except faster and perhaps a bit more controversial?
The first 500 e-scooters for hire have been made by Lime, a San Francisco company who claim that their new rental service if rolled out across the UK, and if it follows data from other countries, could save around 4 million car journeys every year. That’s a lot less traffic pollution and congestion on the roads as cars account for a significant proportion of short journeys that could be replaced by using hired e-scooters. That’s the hope anyway.
It is planned that similar e-scooter hire services will be offered in many UK towns and cities after the summer trial in Milton Keynes. But London it appears be slower than other cities in its implementation because of reported disagreements between the respective London boroughs.
Perhaps this is an opportunity for the London mayor to step in and become known for leaving an environmental legacy to add to the ‘Boris Bikes’. Perhaps it would become known as ‘Sadiq’s Scooters’!
So, whilst the law has changed to allow such large-scale hire services, the law is quite clear on how it regulates e-scooters riders. They can’t exceed a speed limit of 15 miles per hour and can’t be taken on pavements.
As with all trials it remains to be seen if the UK public are ready to embrace this next transport revolution.