(Pocket-lint) – Transport for London has opened up a competitive call to attract e-scooter rental companies to begin trials in London’s boroughs. The trials are due to begin in spring 2021.

The Department for Transport outlined the conditions for UK’s electric scooter trials in July 2020, aiming to provide another method of transit around cities. The aim is to reduce the need for people to return to their cars and encourage people to use less polluting modes of transit.

The trails were accelerated in response to coronavirus, accepting that people were less enthusiastic about using existing public transport and choosing either to cycle or drive instead. While cycling has seen a boom, it’s the driving that the government is keen to keep under control.

Trials of e-scooter have started in many regions of the country, in each case with local councils running the process under strict rules. Currently, privately-owned e-scooter are illegal on the UK’s roads and pavements and it’s only rental services that are permitted.

The same will apply in London and we’re sure that the three services selected will be some of the biggest names in the rental business. Once those e-scooters find their way onto London’s roads in 2021, they will be limited to 15.5mph and riders will have to be over the age of 16 and hold at least a provisional driving license.

The London boroughs that take part in the trials will get to designate the parking areas for scooters – so they’re not left littering pavements and causing an obstruction – as well as being able to indicate no-go zones (like pedestrianised areas), as well as go-slow areas, where the speed will be limited to 8mph.

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“Safety will be our number one priority during this e-scooter rental trial, which will be critical to providing us the data and insights we need to determine whether e-scooters are a viable part of a greener and healthier future for London. We’ll continue to take the interests of all Londoners into account as we work towards starting the trial next year,” said Michael Hurwitz, TfL’s director of transport Innovation.

Writing by Chris Hall.



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