It has been announced that the e-scooter trial taking place in the UK city of Nottingham will continue until May 2024. The trial began in autumn 2020. In July, the Department for Transport (DfT) announced that local authorities would have the option of carrying on with the trials up to this point.
Nottingham is one of many cities trialling e-scooters. Learning gained from the trial will be used to plan the smooth integration of e-scooters into cities around the UK, if they are legalized in the future.
Issues around safety, parking, customer service and communications for the scheme have been improved significantly over the past two years:
- Parking racks and marked parking bays were installed to address issues around e-scooters being left obstructing pavements, as well as fines. Riders are now required to upload a photo showing the e-scooter has been parked considerately
- Pavement riding is being addressed via compliance patrols, a ‘three strikes and you’re out’ policy banning riders and a new system called Pedestrian Defense, which alerts riders when they’re riding on the pavement in real time
- New scooter model introduced with number plates and age limit raised from 16 to 18
- Improved communications and a program of in-person safety events to introduce the mode to new riders.
The operator Superpedestrian, in partnership with Nottingham City Council, will be using the rest of the trial to focus on measures to improve it further, as well as working to get more women and older people giving the e-scooters a try, by:
- Piloting Pedestrian Defence technology and evaluating its effectiveness in reducing pavement riding
- Introducing a revised subscription offer in the form of monthly passes for regular users
- Broadening demographics through education and events to attract more women, older people and provide information for motorists on interacting with e-scooter users on the highway
- Continued engagement with stakeholders, disability groups and community groups to continue to address issues as they arise
- Feeding learning back to DfT to help with national evaluation.
“It’s good news that the e-scooter trial will continue to run until spring 2024,” says councillor Audra Wynter from Nottingham City Council. “We are continuing to learn new things, listen to feedback and make improvements along with our partners at Superpedestrian, to inform a future scheme if e-scooters are rolled out nationwide. I want to thank everyone who continues to give us feedback to help us create a safe future for e-scooters in the UK.”
“We’re thrilled about the continuation of Nottingham’s e-scooter trial,” said Jean Andrews, policy director at Superpedestrian. “In the next year of operation, we’ll be bringing more upgraded technology and continuing to educate riders about safe riding and parking. Superpedestrian takes seriously our role in this community as both a transport provider and community partner.”
The Nottingham e-scooter trial in numbers:
- 1,000 e-scooters available in 400 locations
- 3,500 rides made each day on average, making Nottingham one of the most popular e-scooter trial locations in the country
- More than 2 million rides have been made since the trial began, and 5 million kilometres have been travelled.
Images courtesy of Superpedestrian