Sunderland’s e-scooter trial will continue into 2022 so that more data on usage can be gathered.
On Tuesday (14 September), Sunderland City Council's Cabinet backed a recommendation to extend the trial into March next year.
Sunderland is among a number of cities and towns across the UK running trials of rental e-scooters with backing from the Department for Transport.
Its trial with operator Neuron began in March with 200 orange e-scooters deployed across the city and was intended to be in place for eight months until the end of November.
The council’s deputy leader and portfolio holder for environment and transport, Claire Rowntree, said: ‘Government ministers have approved an extension of current e-scooter trials from 30 November 2021 to 31 March 2022. The guiding principal for this change is trial continuation rather than expansion or market development.
‘No changes to the operation of the trial will take place. The trial will continue with its current arrangements and restrictions and Sunderland's extension will allow extra time for trials to reach capacity and for the DfT to gather additional data.’
The council said it has the trial ‘under continuous review’ and that in the first four months there were 42,626 rides covering 66,500 miles. There were 45 complaints, representing 0.11% of rides.
A rider survey in May found that nearly half (42%) of rides had directly displaced car journeys.
Neuron Mobility UK regional manager George Symes said the firm’s e-scooters have been embraced by locals, with 86% of riders believing that they have created a positive impact on the city
He said: ‘By extending the trial, our e-scooters will continue to have a positive impact on the environment. Already, over 42% of trips displace a car journey, which has contributed to an elimination of around 30 tonnes of CO2 in the North East.’