The BCP Council has given the green light to carry out an e-scooter test in the entire metropolitan area.
The Department of Transport (DfT) approval means that the program will initially allow e-scooters to be used on roads above Bournemouth and Poole.
The BCP Council confirmed that it will launch a rental fleet on January 25, 2021 in collaboration with Beryl Bikes.
Here we look at how the experiment will take shape, when and where the powered two-wheeled modes of transport can be used and what the people behind it have to say about the program.
What is the process?
The BCP Council is one of several local authorities across the country that have been given permission by the DfT to conduct a controlled process. The first attempt will support the DfT’s national research on e-scooters and will run until the end of November 2021.
They are launched by the council as part of its Transforming Travel program to encourage people to switch to more sustainable modes of transport.
An initial fleet of 25 e-scooters can be rented.
The DfT trials in cities like Liverpool, Milton Keynes, Nottingham, Bristol and Norwich are already running.
The BCP council said these trials had shown a shift from private cars to e-scooters for local rides, one of the main reasons behind the trials.
It was also just announced that a major Transport for London process is about to begin in the London boroughs.
Read more: E-scooters for rent come to BCP to reduce overload
How can I rent an e-scooter?
The program is operated in partnership with existing bike rental system providers, Beryl Bikes, and the e-scooters are provided and maintained by Beryl free of charge for the local council.
The user can rent an e-scooter via the Beryl app.
The e-scooters can be picked up and dropped off at any of the 250 marked parking spaces in Poole and Bournemouth.
What are the rules
The initial operating zone of the trial is only in Poole and Bournemouth.
The local authority said this reflected the hilly nature of the two cities and the potential for greater demand. Expansion into Christchurch may be considered later in the program.
The DfT study is a limited and controlled pilot only for type-approved rental e-scooters.
The use of privately owned e-scooters on public roads, including in test areas, is still illegal. Wearing helmets, while recommended, is not compulsory and depends on individual choice.
Residents who want to rent an e-scooter must have a valid driver’s license, which must be checked using the Beryl app. The lease also provides the user with car insurance.
Details about the e-scooters
The e-scooters are limited to a maximum speed of 19 km / h and are equipped with a speedometer and a bell.
An integrated GPS system ensures that their locations are constantly tracked while Beryl’s established team of mechanics maintains, recharges and redistributes them.
What did the BCP Council say?
Councilor Mike Greene, portfolio owner of the BCP Council on Transport, said, “Our metropolitan area is one of the most polluted in the country and we need to offer convenient and attractive alternatives to driving, especially for shorter journeys. We were very pleased about the introduction of our bike share program with 250,000 trips on 1.1 million km since it started last year.
“We’re sure e-scooters will prove popular too, and by working with Beryl, we can be sure that they have a safe, compliant and well-managed solution.”
He added: “We are also pleased that the BCP study will generally support the Ministry of Transport’s research on the use of e-scooters and will help shape national policy in the future.”
What did Beryl say?
Philip Ellis, CEO of Beryl, said: “We are very pleased to offer e-scooters as a further development of our successful Bike Share program.
“We have been running a pilot e-scooter program in Norwich for the past three months and have just launched in the Isle of Wight.
“Both were operated without incident and the usage far exceeded expectations. The Beryl Bay-based system keeps order and ensures that the system meets the requirements of the community.”