Has Devon County Council applied to take part in the Government pilot of allowing electric scooters on the county’s roads and cycle paths? If so, can you update me on any progress please? If not, for what reasons?
Following the Department for Transport’s (DfT) decision to fast track and expand trials of rental e-scooters, Devon County Council has registered their initial interest on planning a trial. The DfT provided us with further details and guidance on the e-scooter trials and we have been considering where in Devon is most suitable. Devon County Council has a good track record of supporting shared mobility solutions with Department for Transport funded electric bikes, electric cars and electric cargo bikes already operating in the county.
We are continuing to monitor what happens in other pilot cities to understand the impacts on mode shift, road safety and the environment. At present, we don’t think that Exeter is sufficiently large enough to support both an electric bike hire company and an e-scooter hire. The micro mobility market is still maturing and we’ve invested significant resources into building a successful shared electric bike hire and car club model in Exeter, which is still expanding.
Instead, we are in discussions with North Devon and Torridge District Councils around a potential trial of e-scooters with PETROC college in Barnstaple. For trials to be considered they need to be agreed with the DfT by the end of August, so the timescales for starting a trial in Devon are challenging. We would express interest in piloting an e-scooter hire scheme in any future DfT project.