E-scooters extended

Sunderland’s e-scooter trial looks set to be extended into next year so more data on their use can be gathered.

E-scooter operator Neuron began Sunderland’s rental trail at the end of March this year with 200 distinctive orange e-scooters deployed across the city.

In the first four months to August there were 42,626 rides covering 107,000km (66,500 miles) completed and 45 complaints (0.11 per cent of ride total).

A rider survey in May found that nearly half (42 per cent) of e-scooter rides had directly displaced car journeys meaning around 12,000 fewer car trips in Sunderland and saving over 5,700kg of carbon emissions.

Subject to a decision at Sunderland City Council’s next Cabinet meeting on Tuesday 14 September, the city’s trial could be extended to March 2022.

Similar e-scooter trials have been taking place across the UK and are also being extended so the Government and Department for Transport (DfT) can gather more data.

The City Council has the scheme under continuous review and information from Sunderland and other trials will allow the Government to decide if e-scooters should be fully legalised.

Leader of Sunderland City Council, Councillor Graeme Miller said: “It is important that Sunderland continues to take part in the trial as our data contributes to deciding what happens nationally.

“This isn’t about expanding the trial, it’s about continuing it as the trial began when we had Covid restrictions on where users could go and what they could visit. Data from over the summer and from over the winter is going to help inform national decision-making on what happens next.

“E-scooters could then be playing a key part in promoting active and sustainable modes of transport and supporting our moves towards a more dynamic, healthy and vibrant Sunderland.

“And, subject to more information from the trial, e-scooters could also help us achieve our low carbon ambitions for becoming a carbon neutral city by 2040 and a carbon neutral City Council by 2030.”