E-scooter trial rolled out in West Midlands

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AFP

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From 10 September, e-scooters will be available in Birmingham and Coventry

A 12-month trial of e-scooters is being rolled out across parts of the West Midlands.

From 10 September, 200 e-scooters will be available in Birmingham and Coventry, before more will be deployed to Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall, Wolverhampton and Warwickshire.

The devices are limited to 15.5mph on any 30mph road or less. They cost £1 to unlock and 20p per minute to ride.

The trial in the region is the biggest of its kind in the UK.

“E-scooters will help bring more flexibility, choice, and greener travel solutions for the West Midlands, at a time when we are facing a climate emergency and urging people to leave the car at home,” Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, said.

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West Midlands Mayor Andy Street had a go on an e-scooter at a launch event

Up to 10,000 e-scooters are due to be deployed across the region over the course of the trial, with people initially only allowed to ride e-scooters within the immediate vicinity of Birmingham and Coventry’s city centre.

The Department of Transport passed legislation earlier this year to accelerate the deployment of e-scooter trials across the UK.

Swedish company Voi has been appointed to operate the vehicles, it was announced by Transport for West Midlands on Thursday.

Riders will need a provisional or full driving licence to unlock an e-scooter and reduced rates are being offered for NHS workers, students and those on low incomes.

Lucy Yu, from Voi, said: “In the UK, 60% of car journeys are between one and three miles, which significantly increases congestion.

“Cars no longer suit the way we live today, and we estimate that 20% of short journeys could be replaced by low-carbon e-scooters with a minimum five-year lifespan. E-scooters provide a compelling alternative that will outrun the car.”

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