Monday 2 August 2021 10:01 am

Westminster becomes newest borough to join London's e-scooter trials

E-scooters will be rolling out across the West End after Westminster Council and TfL agreed to extend a trial of the new transport tech into the hear of the capital.

Westminster has now joined Ealing, Hammersmith & Fulham, Richmond, Kensington & Chelsea, Canary Wharf and Southwark in the trial.

The use of privately owned e-scooters on public roads remains illegal. Only rented, public-access e-scooters can legally be driven on public roads.

Users must be 18 and over and are limited to a reduced top-speed of 12.5mph.

Additional safety measures implemented by the operators include a ‘first ride policy’, whereby new riders must take an e-learning safety course before they hire. First-time riders also have stricter speed limits, while in-app features are designed to prevent use while under the influence of alcohol.

Mayor Philip Glanville, Chair of London Councils’ Transport and Environment Committee, said: “Safety remains the top priority for the trial. We will be looking closely at data and insights as the trial continues to grow to determine whether e-scooters are a viable part of a greener and healthier future for London”.

During the first four weeks of the trial, 35 000 e-scooter trips were made at an average rental length of 24 minutes over an average distance of 2.9km. The number of e-scooters involved in the trial in set to increase in the coming weeks.

Advocates believe e-scooters could be a useful complement to existing transport options in major cities, with a host of European cities seeing them rolled out at pace. Critics are concerned on safety grounds.

Read more: Lime looks to lessen London’s transport squeeze as e-scooter trial begins