E-Scooters Sent To Coventry… Then Banned

Thu 17th Sep 2020

The UK-wide trial of e-scooters has seen its first rejection after Coventry became the first city to suspend the trial following complaints from pedestrians.

Coventry is one of five cities currency trialling the innovative transport method which have been hailed as a green and safe solution in the current socially distanced climate. While the public have been advised to avoid public transport where possible, cities such as Northampton, Milton Keynes and Middlesbrough have joined Coventry in testing the viability of having the e-scooters in urban areas.

But after only five days of the trial beginning, Coventry City Council have listened to residents' complaints and halted the trial.

“The e-scooters have proved to be extremely popular, with around 5,000 rides being taken in the first few days of operation,” said a statement from the city council. “However, over the weekend there have been some incidents reported where e-scooters have been used in pedestrianised areas where they are not permitted to be.

“As a result the Council and Voi [the company renting out the scooters in the trial] have taken the decision to pause the scheme in order to review the first few days of the trial and identify ways in which it can re-commence in an appropriate manner.”

The scooters, or Personal Light Electric Vehicles as they are technically known, have become popular in many of continental Europe’s biggest cities, giving commuters flexibility to travel in urban and central areas at a speed of 15.5mph.

Coventry’s ban hasn’t stopped the other cities continuing with the trial. Speaking to The Times, Northampton City Council said: “There are no plans to pause the trial in Northampton. This is an exciting scheme for the town, we were chosen by the government to be one of the first trial areas for e-scooters which can be a real boost to improving access to greener, more sustainable and affordable transport and offering more choice on how to travel.

“But with any new scheme there is always a bedding in period, so we are continuing to listen to feedback and alongside Voi are closely monitoring how it’s going to see where we can keep making improvements to help it run as smoothly as possible.”