Bid to extend Norwich e-scooter trial into 2022
- Credit: KATE WOLSTENHOLME
A bid has been made to extend the trial of electric scooters in Norwich - but changes are being made after a number of incidents involving the vehicles.
E-scooters arrived in Norwich in September last year, with Norfolk County Council joining forces with rental company Beryl to provide them for hire.
But the current trial is due to end next month, so council leaders have asked the government for an extension to March next year.
Council bosses are pleased with the take-up of the scheme, with almost 7,000 trips since launch and an average journey of nearly two miles.
Each of the 115 scooters is being used about five times per day and Beryl is keen to add more.
But there have been issues, with 11 reported injuries to e-scooter users since launch.
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Nine were slight injuries and two - a broken elbow and concussion - were classified by the Department for Transport as serious injuries.
Illegal riding of scooters on footpaths was also reported, along with people illegally carrying passengers and instances of users being registered to another person's driving licence.
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New measures have been introduced to make clear riding on footpaths and with passengers is not legal.
And Beryl is looking at industry wide best practice over e-scooters which make an audible note when moving, to help visually impaired people.
Martin Wilby, Norfolk County Council cabinet member for highways, infrastructure and transport, said: “This trial is designed to help provide the crucial evidence needed by the government when ministers are considering the future legal basis of e-scooters.
"Continuation of the trial will help provide information on the benefits of this new mode of transport, and also insight into ways to tackle issues raised both locally and nationally as a result of the increased use of e-scooters.
“Results so far have proven interesting as 17pc of users surveyed said they’d switched their journey from private car to e-scooter, so we’d be keen to see is if this potential congestion cutting move will continue as we emerge from the pandemic restrictions over the past year.”