Latest in Gear

Image credit: Florian Gaertner via Getty Images

The UK finally welcomes e-scooters

Coronavirus has prompted the government to rethink its transport infrastructure.
507 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

BERLIN, GERMANY - JANUARY 10: The silhouette of an e-Scooter is pictured on January 10, 2020 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Florian Gaertner/Photothek via Getty Images)
Florian Gaertner via Getty Images

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has prompted governments around the world to reassess their ideas of “business as usual.” In the UK, for example, transport secretary Grant Shapps has recently unveiled a £2 billion package to support “active travel” as the country eventually emerges from the crisis. Part of this deal will see e-scooters officially welcomed into the country, with trials originally planned for next year being fast-tracked to next month.

Thanks to draconian vehicle laws e-scooters had previously been banned in the UK, with the exception of extremely restricted trials by US startup Bird. Now, however, with coronavirus changing the way people get from A to B — and with the UK government cautiously eyeing more sustainable transport options in the long term anyway — four local authorities will start e-scooter trials next month. Shapps says the trials will be extended to “every region in the country that wants them” in a bid to get e-scooter rental schemes up and running as fast as possible. Birmingham and Coventry in the West Midlands are among the first cities to get on board.

It’s not clear yet what shape these trials will take — Transport for West Midlands, along with Birmingham and Coventry City Councils, have said they’ll share plans and further details on the trials as they develop. Nonetheless, for UK cities to be given the go ahead on e-scooters finally brings it up to speed with other European cities that have long since adopted the tech. And it marks an altogether greener attitude from policy makers — as part of the £2 billion package Shapps also announced major investment into new cycle lanes and a £10 million funding injection for additional on-street EV charging infrastructure, the lack of which has been a significant obstacle to EV adoption in the country.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
507 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

Kitty Hawk moves on from its original flying car project

Kitty Hawk moves on from its original flying car project

View
'Project Cars 3' trailer has some sim racing fans worried

'Project Cars 3' trailer has some sim racing fans worried

View
Sony WH-1000XM4 upgrades detailed in early Walmart product page

Sony WH-1000XM4 upgrades detailed in early Walmart product page

View
Cowboy upgrades its e-bike with a carbon belt and puncture-resistant tires

Cowboy upgrades its e-bike with a carbon belt and puncture-resistant tires

View
Rockstar temporarily closes online games in support of Black Lives Matter

Rockstar temporarily closes online games in support of Black Lives Matter

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr