The UK government is fast-tracking access to electric scooter rentals on public roads as the nation joins a growing list of countries turning to “tactical urbanism” in the face of COVID-19. Trials of scooter-rental systems that were otherwise earmarked for 2021 have been accelerated to June, and the success of their outcome could result in scooters officially being legal on UK roads.
The trials were originally planned for Portsmouth and Southampton, the West of England Combined Authority, Derby and Nottingham, and the West Midlands. Beginning next month, any region in the UK will be permitted to make a bid to launch a rental scheme. As all-encompassing as the plan is, there are some parameters and additional details to consider, which include:
- The initiative is designed to help cities operate scooter-share systems together with scooter startups and established companies, therefore it doesn’t extend to private usage.
- Scooter operators must prove their vehicles are safe and offer a green alternative to other forms of transportation.
- Scooter companies have to show that vehicles can be efficiently cleared from public roads and parked in a safe location.
- The government will be actively working with scooter firms to ensure compliance measures are being met (this may relate to insurance and data delivery).
- The acceleration of e-scooters is part of a £2-billion initiative designed to promote new cycling, walking and other safe transportation alternatives to cars and public transit both during and after the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown.
The UK’s unprecedented initiative comes as cities—particularly in Europe—continue to announce transformative measures to accommodate social distancing and safer commuting practices. For example, miles of new cycling lanes are being introduced in Paris (up to 400 miles), Milan (22 miles) and Brussels (25 miles). These new urban plans are having a global domino effect as cities brace for people returning to their daily commutes. Already, people across the UK are embracing active travel—according to the nation’s transport secretary Grant Shapps, there’s been a 70% rise in the number of people on bikes since the pandemic unfolded in March.
The role of shared micromobility across the UK and elsewhere only stands to increase as cities reimagine their streets and legal policies. If you’re considering launching a scooter-rental system in the UK, now is the time to get started. Joyride’s one-stop software platform will equip you with the software you need to operate, manage and scale your fleet, beginning with a white-label user app, hardware-agnostic IoT connectivity and backend fleet management dashboard. Our global partnerships with hardware manufacturers, insurance providers, data measurement agencies and on-the-ground fleet operations management companies means we’re able to provide you with all the components necessary to launch a shared system in a matter of days. Contact us today for more details.