E-scooters to be trialled in Coventry as a post-lockdown travel solution

Using a dock system, the e-scooters can be quickly hired and easily transported on other forms of public transport.

E-scooters are set to appear on Coventry streets in a ground-breaking trial to help get the city moving once lockdown restrictions start to be lifted.

The Government has chosen the West Midlands for the trial – a UK first – which if successful could revolutionise the way people travel whilst bolstering the fight against climate change.

Extra pressure is expected to be put on the region’s transport network when COVID-19 lockdown restrictions start to be lifted but people still seek to observe social distancing measures on their daily commute.

Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) and Coventry City Council will now work together to test the technology and better understand the benefits this new form of transport could bring.

A priority for the trial will be to see how e-scooters can be safely used in public places. Until now, e-scooters can only be legally used on private property.

The Department for Transport, as part of its efforts to help ease the pressure on local public transport services during the recovery phase of COVID-19, wants to explore how e-scooters can complement existing transport options especially for short trips.

Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, said: “I am pleased the Government has put its faith us in again with this new and innovative trial of e-scooters.

“This trial will help bring more flexibility, choice, and greener travel solutions for the region, at a time when we are facing a climate emergency and urging people to leave the car at home. 

“We will also use the trial to look at the current transport challenges the coronavirus pandemic has presented us with and explore how e-scooters could be used to help tackle them. 

“No region is better equipped than the West Midlands to test, review, and implement trials such as these at pace and scale, and that is testament to the hard work and innovation of those working in our future transport sector.”

The Government announced on Saturday it had chosen the UK’s four Future Mobility Zones to conduct the trials, of which the West Midlands was the first, and has been working on future transport solutions such as electric vehicles and very light rail.

How the trial will work

The Coventry trial will look closely at how e-scooters are able to support connectivity between key public transport interchanges and local centres.

Using a dock system, they can be quickly hired and easily transported on other forms of public transport giving people greater flexibility to travel.

They can be more appealing to some users than traditional bike hire as they are more manoeuvrable and require less levels of fitness to operate.

The key aim of the trial will be to understand how e-scooters can be operated safely in an urban environment and how they can form part of an integrated transport system.

The trial will also look at what types of scooters can be used to provide the best experience, how technology can support travel and safety, and what user training and advice is needed.

TfWM will begin the detailed planning of the trials and will be sharing further details and chosen locations as they develop.