A PILOT program for the rental of e-scooters in the region is to last until next spring.
At a meeting yesterday, Sunderland City Council backed a recommendation to extend the study to March next year, 12 months after operator Neuron first used 200 e-scooters across the city.
Councilor Claire Rowntree, deputy chairwoman of the council, said the extension is in line with the ability of the government and the Department of Transportation (DfT) to gather more information on how all trials are going.
Cllr Rowntree said, “The study will continue with its current agreements and restrictions, and the Sunderland extension will give the trials additional time to reach their capacity and the DfT to collect additional data.
“The evidence gathered in the process will guide the final decisions on whether, and if so, how the use of e-scooters can be fully legalized.”
The local council has constantly reviewed the study and in the first four months of the study there were 42,626 trips of 107,000 km (66,500 miles) and 45 complaints (0.11 percent of the total trip).
A driver survey in May found that almost half (42 percent) of e-scooter journeys had directly supplanted car journeys, which means about 12,000 fewer car journeys in Sunderland.
George Symes, UK Regional Manager, Neuron Mobility, said: “We are very pleased that the extension of our e-scooter test in Sunderland has been approved by the Sunderland City Council today.
“Since the start of operations in March, our e-scooters have been used for over 42,000 trips and already contribute 54 percent of the trips to a purchase to strengthen the local economy.
“By extending the test phase, our e-scooters will continue to have a positive impact on the environment.
“Over 42 percent of journeys already replace a car journey, which has contributed to eliminating around 30 tons of CO2 in the northeast.
“Neuron’s e-scooters are being accepted by the locals. 86 percent of drivers believe they have a positive impact on the city. We are very pleased that our e-scooters in Sunderland can continue to offer a sustainable, socially distant and safe means of transport. ”
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