Gloucestershire scoots into a greener future

Reporter Adam Woolhead discussing E-scooters in the town centre

E-scooters have appeared in Gloucestershire for a new, year-long, transport trial.

The trial is part of a wider scheme to support ‘green’ local transport and discourage people from overcrowding public transport during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Electric scooters are currently not legal in the UK but from the 4 July 2020, the Department for Transport have allowed the use of rental scooters in a monitored ‘geofenced’ area. This means that the scooters will stop if they go outside of the monitored area.

National scooter company, Zwings, has only 40 vehicles in parking bays across Cheltenham Town Centre and Gloucester City Centre but there’s plans to increase this number to 60 scooters in the future.

Gloucestershire is only one of five towns or cities across the UK to have the e-scooter trail but there have been complaints and safety concerns about the vehicles. Coventry stopped the trial just five days after they were permitted due to reports that some riders were a danger to pedestrians.

Hartlepool’s MP, Mike Hall, told The Independent: “Using scooters to get people off buses as a way of beating either climate change or coronavirus is farcical. It is fiddling while Rome burns. Whatever the question, e-scooters in Hartlepool are not the answer.”

The scooters are legal on the roads and cycle paths but they can’t exceed a speed of 12mph. Appropriate speed limits have been put in place in certain areas while riders must abide by the Highway Code.

Zwing’s rules

To use one, riders must be over 16 and have a full or provisional driving license. The Zwings app must be downloaded to ride and pay for the scooters that are dotted around the town and city centre.

The scooters cost £1 to unlock, and depending on the location 15p or 20p is charged per mile.

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