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Electric scooter rentals to launch in London next month

Electric scooter rentals to launch in London next month

May 19, 2021: -Starting from June 7, Londoners will officially be allowed to whizz around on an electric kick scooter.

On Tuesday, City transport regulators said that a handful of e-scooter rental firms had been selected to run trials in the U.K. capital next month.

The operators include U.S. start-up Lime, German firm Tier, and Dutch rival Dott, says Transport for London (TfL). The pilot will last for 12 months.

Areas covered by the trials include Ealing, Canary Wharf, the City of London, Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea, and Richmond upon Thames.

Riders will be able to travel through Tower Hamlets. The London boroughs of Lambeth and Southwark are also looking to participate in the trials.

Rental pricing will be set individually by the operators and has not yet been confirmed.

The British government first announced plans to speed up the rollout of e-scooter rental trials across the country last year.

The move was viewed as part of a broader effort to get Brits out and again post-lockdown with electric bikes and scooters, using a healthier and environmentally-friendly alternative to cars and public transport.

In the U.K., the electric kick scooter is classified as a PLEV or Personal Light Electric Vehicle, and these are illegal on British roads or pavements.

However, hiring scooters from licensed operators is now permitted in several cities and regions in the U.K. thanks to new trials, though privately-owned models remain banned in public spaces. If the problems are a success, the laws will likely be updated.

In London, e-scooters will be required to adhere to a maximum speed of 12.5 mph, lower than the national maximum of 15.5 mph. The vehicles must also be fitted with lights on the front and back and audible warning systems that can be used without riders adjusting their grip on the handlebars.

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