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e-scooter and e-bike trial proposed

Published Wednesday, 2 September 2020

York could follow other cities like Milton Keynes and Cambridge by introducing a new 12-month trial to offer e-scooters and e-bikes at York Hospital and the University of York.

If approved by City of York Council, the preferred supplier will work alongside York Hospital and the University of York to bring forward the trial later this month - ensuring safety, security and engagement with key groups are core to the trial being implemented.

The trial is part of efforts to support a ‘green’ restart of local travel and help mitigate the impact of reduced public transport capacity.

Funded and run in partnership with the Department of Transport (DfT), the trial could be rolled out in the city at York Hospital and the University of York.

Cllr Andy D’Agorne, Executive Member for Transport said:

This could provide a really good opportunity to explore how e-scooters might add to the mix of sustainable transport options, whilst helping to improve air quality and expand our electrical vehicle charging offer. The trial could also form part of the city’s Covid-19 response in terms of, for example, providing sustainable alternatives to support capacity on public transport for key workers at the hospital.”

“Should the trial go ahead we’ll ensure there is clear and effective channels of two-way communication which is critically important to get early warning of any issues that need to be addressed, to assess the impact and to learn all the lessons from the trial.”

Jane Money, Head of Sustainability for York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said:

The Trust has worked with City of York Council for several years delivering sustainable travel projects. We look forward to further discussions on this project which seeks to reduce traffic congestion and tackle air pollution through this proposal for York Hospital to be a host site for the scooters.”

Ongoing engagement is envisaged with the key initial partners (York Teaching Hospital and University of York) and also with others including disability rights groups, bus operators, the Business Improvement District, the Retail Forum and groups representing the needs and interests of cyclists.

As part of DfT requirements, strict rules would be but in place including all users holding at least a provisional driving licence and being covered by insurance. They would also need a smartphone app to unlock the e-scooter. E-scooters would be treated similarly to electrically-assisted pedal cycles as they have a similar road presence. E-scooters would therefore be allowed on roads and cycleways but not pedestrian footways.

The maximum speed of an e-scooter would be capped at 15.5mph (this is a legal requirement set by the DfT). The preferred supplier is able to use ‘geo-fencing’ to restrict e-scooter access and speed in certain areas, such as the footstreets and other communities.

E-scooters and e-bikes would only be able to be parked in designated parking bays which the preferred supplier would identify as parking locations in-app, with visual aids on-street to help users identify parking locations.

Pricing would be competitive with other cities in the UK (Milton Keynes and Cambridge) who have recently, or are set to, launch trials with other operators. In these cities it is £1 to unlock and £0.20 per minute to ride.

There are also options to reduce price for frequent users or other identified groups.

A report will be brought to the Transport Decision Session for approval on 8 September. To watch the meeting live, or play back later again, visit www.york.gov.uk/webcasts.

To find out more about the report, visit: https://democracy.york.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=738&MId=12342