Coventry e-scooter trial halted after five days

A year-long scheme to trial electric scooters in Coventry has been “paused” after only five days due to safety concerns.

The move by the city council in the area was made after residents complained about the speed of scooters being ridden in pedestrianised areas, people travelling the wrong direction, and scooters being discarded across the city centre.

The local authority has now said it will review the trial to ensure that e-scooters are used “appropriately” by the general public. Transport for the West Midlands (TfWM) has previously outlined that speeds of 5mph are applicable in pedestrianised districts and areas for the scooters.

The company behind the project providing the e-scooters, Voi, said that the scheme had been ‘extremely popular’ with more than 5,000 riders taken across the city centre during the first few days of the trial.

A spokesperson said the company was looking forward to resuming the scheme with “enhanced measures in place” to address the early observations of the trial.

They said: “The initial take-up has been encouraging but we need to ensure that the safety of all people using the city centre is protected and that the e-scooters are used in the proper way, hence our decision to pause the pilot until systems are improved.”

The news follows Staffordshire council teaming up with Amey on its own e-scooter trial this week, and also other schemes in Birmingham and Northampton, which are continuing to be rolled out across the coming months.

Movement towards e-scooters begun following sign-off by the government in June for their legal use in trials from July with the start date brought forward and widened in light of the coronavirus crisis. An initial four ‘future transport zones’ have been chosen – the West Midlands, Portsmouth and Southampton, the West of England Combined Authority, and Derby and Nottingham.

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