Could e-scooters be heading to Peterborough?

A decision is due to be made shortly on whether to trial e-scooters in Peterborough.

Friday, 5th March 2021, 5:00 am

The city council’s Cabinet will decide in the coming weeks whether to participate in the national trial which currently involves 27 different areas.

E-scooters have received a mixed response so far with the vehicles seen as having the potential to make travel more environmentally friendly, but during the trial there have been complaints over riders going on pavements and almost colliding with pedestrians and motorists.

One of the places to trial e-scooters under the Department for Transport scheme is Cambridge which, according to a new report, has seen its 50 e-scooters ridden more than 20,000 times over a distance covering approximately 48,000km.

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E-scooters are currently being trialled in Cambridge
E-scooters are currently being trialled in Cambridge

The city council decided last July to consider whether to introduce e-scooters, and with the national trial due to end in October a decision will be made shortly on whether to take part in the final phase.

A new report has revealed concerns locally include pavement riding and speed (with the e-scooters able to do up to 15mph).

Disability groups are also said to be worried that e-scooters cause trip hazards, although the council said this is mitigated by the fact the vehicles would only be parked in certain areas where they would be fenced off.

Currently, it is illegal to use privately owned e-scooters on public land with the trial taking place to determine whether the law should be changed.

During January, the 20 eBikes were used 87 times, with a decision on their future to be taken once the trial ends in October.

Both schemes in Cambridge and Peterborough are being run by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority - the area’s mayoral authority.

Both sets of vehicles have come from Voi Technology which would also provide the e-scooters if they were introduced in Peterborough.

The council added: “The benefits of undertaking a trial locally is that the scooters used are clearly branded and therefore it is possible for enforcement officers and the police to clearly recognise permitted versus illegal use of privately owned scooters.

“The trials would have no financial cost to the council and a supplier has already been selected by the CPCA, however, limited consultation has been conducted and concerns have been raised by some groups on the safety of e-scooters and the potential dangers they pose to other road users.”