E-scooters on London's streets have been a divisive thing for years — as you can see from the comments section on our YouTube video, made back when it was still illegal to ride e-scooters on the city roads.
It was made legal to ride e-scooters in London in July last year, albeit with a raft of restrictions — and privately owned e-scooters remained illegal.
Now e-scooters are set to take the love 'em or hate 'em next level from 7 June, as they become part of TfL's rental offering across multiple boroughs.
After a tender process, the three winning companies have been announced — Dott, already operating e-scooters in cities in Belgium, Italy, France, and other countries, Lime, which you might already know from their London e-bike rental services, and TIER Mobility, a climate-neutral company operating in 100 cities across two continents.
The 12 month trial will run across several boroughs, including Hammersmith and Fulham, Canary Wharf, Richmond, and the City. Other boroughs will potentially join the trial during the year.
Need to know:
- The rental scooters will be legal for use on roads and cycleways, not pavements or pedestrianised areas
- Rental pricing will be set by the separate operators, and discounts will be on offer for certain groups, including key workers
- The e-scooters will have a top speed of 12.5 mph, with boroughs able to specify go-slow zones where the maximum allowed speed will be 8 mph
Helen Sharp, TfL’s e-scooter trial lead, said:
We’re doing all we can to support London’s safe and sustainable recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and it’s clear that e-scooters could act as an innovative, greener alternative to car trips... We will also continue to work closely with all of our stakeholders, including TfL’s Independent Disability Advisory Group, to ensure that the trial meets the needs of everybody living in, working in and visiting the trial areas.
The trial will start on 7 June, and data and insights gathered during the trial will be used to inform TfL's longer term planning for what role e-scooters can play in London's transport network. Details for how to access the e-scooters — including collection and parking spots — will be announced later in May.