Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, announced today (9th May 2020) that the UK government is fast-tracking (by over 1 year) it’s electric scooter trials in response to the COVID-19 crisis. As lock down measures ease next month, social distancing whilst travelling will be essential to mitigate risk of contracting and spreading the coronavirus. Similarly, the government have recognised the critical importance of implementing initiatives to ensure emissions do not suddenly rise to the same levels as they were before lockdown. As such, the government is providing opportunities for councils to install e-scooter rental schemes in their regions to provide a solution to reduce car usage and to provide a safe alternative to public transport. The government has also announced a £250 millionemergency fund to invest in widening and building new cycle lane infrastructure. This is part £2 bilion fund to help councils install new mobility schemes. Blue Zoom is at the forefront of these initiatives and are ready to help organisations and regions across the country to implement e-scooter of bike fleet rental schemes.
Electric scooters and bikes have already been proven to be a global solution to the issue of overcrowded trains and buses in the wake of the current public crisis, and for good reason: data indicates that, during times of disruption to local public transit networks, people consistently turn to electric scooters as a safe and efficient alternative.
Most people do not want to own an e-scooter or bike outright due to the cost and inconvenience of carrying and charging the vehicle. Instead, the general consensus is to rent a vehicle for a matter of a few minutes in order to travel across town in exchange for only a few pounds and pennies and then leaving the vehicle at the end of your journey.
The UK government’s decision to increase the speed of scooter trials is being hailed as a green transport revolution in one of the only remaining European nations to still outlaw the lightweight electric vehicles on public streets and cycle ways.
Next month’s trials across the UK will provide a clear evidence base for UK legislators to determine how small electric vehicles will need to be regulated in the future to make sure that their benefits can be realised responsibly.