12 month e-scooter trial launches in city

E-scooters are now available on the streets of York as part of a 12-month rental trial operated by European operator TIER.

The Department for Transport-approved scheme will initially see 50 e-scooters deployed in the city, with the potential to gradually increase to up to 700 after six months.

Renting an e-scooter in York will cost riders £1 to unlock the vehicle and 15p per minute travelled.

People can pick up the e-scooters at the University of York campus and ride them along a number of cycle and road routes.

Discussions are also taking place with York Hospital, which could see the scheme operating from there in the coming weeks.

Every scooter in York will have a swappable battery, which teams of TIER employees on e-cargo bikes can change when they run low. This reduces emissions and congestion on roads, compared to the common industry practice of using vans to collect the e-scooters and take them to be charged in a warehouse.

TIER e-scooters feature an integrated helmet, the largest front wheel in the market, a wider foot plate, dual suspension, a double kickstand and dual drum brakes for stable riding on uneven surfaces and conditions.

The e-scooters are also fitted with number plates, including unique IDs, which TIER has a full record of.

Councillor Andy D’Agorne, executive member for transport said: “This will provide a fantastic opportunity to explore how e-scooters might add to the mix of sustainable transport options, whilst helping to improve air quality and expand our electrical vehicle charging offer.

“The trial will also form part of the city’s Covid-19 response in terms of, for example, providing sustainable alternatives to support capacity on public transport across the city.

“We’re excited to approve the trial in York and to be working alongside TIER. Together we will ensure there are clear and effective channels of communication which are critically important to get early warning of any issues that need to be addressed, to assess the impact and to learn all the lessons from the trial.”

TIER UK general manager, Fred Jones, said: “We are excited to be offering York residents and visitors a more sustainable way of travelling around the city, as people get to grips with new ways of navigating during Covid-19.

“Our e-scooters can bring great benefits to the city, including reducing air pollution and congestion. We look forward to rolling out more e-scooters in coming months.”

Professor Kiran Trehan, pro-vice-chancellor for partnership and engagement at the University of York, said: “Sustainability is at the heart of the university’s principles. To be at the forefront of this pilot, and work with the City of York Council and TIER on the scheme, is a great opportunity for us as well as the wider city of York.

“Our sustainable transport plan is ever evolving and we will continue to support new and diverse transport options in the future.”