24th Oct, 2020

Region pushing ahead with e-scooters trials later this summer

Ross Crawford 14th Jul, 2020

PLANS to trial e-scooters in Redditch are ‘a work in progress’ says the borough council.

The borough is understood to be working with partner organisations to push the measure through and is in discussions with Worcestershire County Council, which is the highways authority for the town.

The news comes as other local authorities in the region announced they would introduce the trials from the end of the summer.

Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) and Birmingham City Council are leading on the development of e-scooter rental trials in the West Midlands in partnership with the other six other West Midlands local authorities – Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton – and Warwickshire.

Work has now started on work to find suitable e-scooter operators; with TfWM, which is part of the West Midlands Combined Authority, starting the tender process.

The appointment is expected next month, with the roll-out of a 12-month trial expected by the end of August. Some 30 potential operators have shown an initial interest in running the trial scheme.

The trials will take place in dedicated zones across the combined authority areas, each of which has been selected to be manageable in size, covering areas where existing on-highway infrastructure is in place to safely accommodate e-scooter use.

The Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street, who chairs the West Midlands Combined Authority, of which Redditch is a non-constituent member, said: “Here in the West Midlands we are well equipped to deliver this trial at pace and on a large scale and I know there has already been a tremendous amount of interest from other e-scooter companies and the travelling public.

“E-scooters could help the region not only as we emerge from this pandemic but as we look to tackle climate change by offering a greener and healthier alternative to the car for many journeys.”

E-scooters have been championed by transport minister and Redditch MP Rachel Maclean.

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