Electric scooters wheel out in Milton Keynes

Friday 21 August 2020

 

Escooters Lauren Townsend and Brian Matthews
MKC's Head of Transport Innovation, Brian Matthews and Cllr Lauren Townsend

Milton Keynes Council is wheeling out a trial of e-scooters as part of an innovative national scheme.

The Department for Transport has given the council a green light to bring e-scooters to MK so they can be trialled as an alternative to short car journeys across the borough.  Around 300 e-scooters will be available from 24th August.

Anyone can try one out provided they’re aged at least 18 and hold a provisional driver’s licence. They can be used on MK’s 250km of Redways, as well as on minor estate roads (30mph limit or less). A system is being developed that ‘geofences’ the e-scooters and stops them from being used on area where they are not permitted and roads where the speed limit is over 30mph.

Nationally, the COVID-19  pandemic has changed people’s travel habits, with more people walking or cycling and some cycle-to-work schemes reporting a 200% increase.  MK Council will be encouraging more people to keep up with greener ways to travel to make MK healthier for everyone who lives here.  As well as e-scooters this means bike share schemes as well as walking, cycling and public transport.

The e-scooters will be bookable through three transport operators: Lime, Ginger and Spin.  All three operators will be unveiling booking systems shortly, with costs expected from £1 to use.

Cabinet Member for Sustainability, Cllr Lauren Townsend said, “While the grid roads and general layout in MK helps to keep our air quality high, transport is undeniably one of the UK’s most polluting sectors.  We have ambitious plans to make MK a leading green city, and that includes showing other areas what can be achieved with a bit of innovation. It’s great that we’re home to the country’s first large scale e-scooter trial, following on from our track record with shared e-bikes and autonomous delivery robots. I hope lots of people give the e-scooters a try so we can learn what’s possible and share our findings with others.”

 

Transport Minister Rachel Maclean said: “E-scooters could offer cleaner, more efficient and more affordable travel within our towns and cities, and the trials now taking place are helping us assess their impacts on public space, as well as the benefits.

“The rollout of trials in Milton Keynes will build on what we have already learnt from Tees Valley and will see strict safety measures in place - including license verification and geo-fencing that stops engines that have strayed beyond the clearly marked boundaries.”