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Popularity of electric scooters ‘threatens to eat bike share’s lunch’

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Reputation of electrical scooters ‘threatens to eat bike share’s lunch’

Electrical scooter rental schemes threaten to “eat bike share’s lunch” by grabbing a major chunk of Scotland’s fast-growing cycle rent market once they arrive north of the Border, a biking skilled has predicted.

Monday, fifth October 2020, 7:00 am

Oliver O’Brien, of College Faculty London, stated: “This might be a a lot greater change to how individuals transfer round our cities than bike share might be.

“It might nicely eat bike share’s lunch, even when it’s not a type of ‘lively’ journey.”

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The declare got here as Glasgow councillors will tomorrow be advisable to approve the launch of an e-scooter rent scheme following a collection of pilots that acquired underway in England this summer time.

E-scooter trials began in England this summer time. Yui Mok/PA Wire

Mr O’Brien, a knowledge researcher on the college’s shopper information analysis centre, who has analysed bike share schemes for ten years, stated: “In lots of cities worldwide, we’ve seen operators with each bikes and e-scooters fairly shortly scale down their bike share fleets.

“Lime is doing this quite a bit, equivalent to in Milton Keynes.

He informed a webinar organised by CoMoUK, which promotes transport-sharing schemes: “I’ve each motive to imagine this success will translate to Scotland too, significantly if e-scooter shares right here can function in a ‘pure dockless’ mode [without docking stations].

“They take up much less house so end in much less avenue litter.”

Using on pavements is illegitimate within the e-scooter trials

O’Brien stated rental e-scooters within the trials launched in England this summer time, equivalent to Milton Keynes and Coventry, had been used three to 6 instances a day whereas rent bike schemes had seen cycles rented two to 4 instances a day.

He stated: “E-scooters seem like extra enticing to potential customers who can not see themselves on a motorbike, whereas on the similar time being simpler and less complicated {hardware} and know-how for an operator to take care of.

“It appears bike share hits a pure resistance with a proportion of the inhabitants that simply doesn’t need to cycle however doesn’t thoughts the idea of e-scooters.”

He added: “It’s exhausting to earn cash from bike share – the Scottish climate, historic reluctance to cycle, and want for cumbersome docking stations as a result of sizes of the bikes.”

CoMoUK stated e-scooters mustn’t detract from bike rental schemes.

Scotland director Lorna Finlayson stated: “The proof globally has been that e-scooters are a helpful addition to sustainable mobility that co-exists with different types of sharing methods of getting round.

“It is vital that positive aspects in e-scooter use don’t come on the expense of motorbike share or biking extra broadly given the UK’s decarbonisation, congestion and air pollution challenges.”

Glasgow Metropolis Council stated there was a spot for e-scooters due to the “notable success” of its six-year-old cycle rent scheme, which had expanded to 800 bikes, together with electrical bikes.

A spokesperson stated: “It was felt e-scooters might supply an additional low-carbon different to automotive and public transport use.

“That is of specific significance within the mild of town’s choice in 2019 to be carbon impartial by 2030.”

Nonetheless, an e-scooter scheme would require new Scottish laws to allow the usage of cycle lanes.

Additionally it is opposed by teams representing blind individuals, which worry collisions with pedestrians as a result of they claimed it could be troublesome to implement a pavement using ban.

Transport for Edinburgh, town council-controlled physique which runs the Simply Eat Cycles rent scheme, remains to be contemplating the deserves of introducing e-scooters too.

Chief govt George Lowder stated: “We’re creating our understanding of e-scooter operations to assist inform any future selections.

“For a trial to happen, there must be additional consideration of the professionals and cons.

“A viable trial would want to think about the e-scooter market to verify suppliers can guarantee security, reliability and worth for cash, amongst different necessities essential to administer a profitable rent scheme.”

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