E-scooter trials extended despite DfT stats showing spike in injuries

The Department for Transport has extended the end date for schemes and given authorities the power to abandon them all together

e scooters Andy Street Mayor West Midlands

THE Department for Transport (DfT) has thrown the future of hired e-scooter schemes into doubt this week, giving local authorities the chance to abandon the trials should there be opposition.

In the same breath, the DfT has also extended the time that authorities can run the schemes until May 2024. That means pilot schemes using rental e-scooter will either have the option to continue using them until the new date or scrap them altogether.

E-scooters have been controversial since they were introduced mid-way through 2020. DfT stats confirm that in 2021 223 pedestrians were injured after being hit by rental e-scooters in the UK, with 63 people considered seriously hurt. That number was up from just 57 casualties in 2020 and just 13 serious injuries. The spike in incidents mirrors the rollout of further e-scooter rental schemes across the UK.

While the move to give authorities the chance to extend e-scooter trials could increase the number of accidents and serious injuries further, the move is said to be being done to allow the government to “gather further evidence where gaps are identified, building on the findings of the current evaluation”.

Transport minister Trudy Harrison made the statement about the extension earlier this week, stating that she hoped that all authorities would continue to use them, although adding that there was no compulsion to do so.

This weeks news comes less than a year after the DfT and motorcycle groups were investigating whether privately-owned e-scooter could be classified as vehicles and used in the same way that lightweight scooters and motorcycles are.

Ten Things No Motorcyclist Should EVER Do | Motorcycle Dos &Don'ts!

Ten Things No Motorcyclist Should EVER Do | Motorcycle Dos & Don'ts!