London’s trial of rental e-scooters will begin next month, it has been confirmed, with the City and Canary Wharf among the first areas to test the transport system.
The financial hubs have been tapped alongside a core group of boroughs to take part in the trial, which will begin on Monday 7 June. More areas are set to join over the course of the 12-month trial.
Operators Lime, Dott and Tier have been picked to take part in the trial following an open procurement process run by Transport for London (TfL) and London Councils.
The trial comes after the government last year announced plans to legalise e-scooter rental services run by local authorities.
Organisers said safety would be the key priority of the trial, with data shared by operators playing a crucial role in determining future policy on e-scooters in London and across the UK.
Among the safety requirements during the trial are a maximum speed of 12.5mph, permanent lights on the front and rear of the scooters and audible warning systems.
Riders will also need to take a safety course before they hire for the first time. Scooters will only be allowed on road and cycle paths, not on pavements.
“We want to ensure a green, sustainable recovery from coronavirus, and e-scooters are an alternative to cars that could help with this,” said Will Norman, London’s walking & cycling commissioner.
“The safety of those using e-scooters, as well as other road users and pedestrians, is absolutely paramount, so it’s important that they are trialled in this rigorous way to ensure high standards. We look forward to exploring the role that e-scooters could play in London’s future.”
The participating boroughs, which include Hammersmith and Fulham and Kensington and Chelsea, will provide parking for e-scooters in dedicated spaces, while others will act as so-called ride-through areas where e-scooters are permitted but rides cannot start or end.
While regulations introduced last summer have allowed local authorities to trial e-scooters, the use of privately owned e-scooters on public roads is not covered by the trial and remains illegal.
Riding any e-scooter — public or private — on pavements also remains illegal in the UK.