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E-scooter trials

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Electric scooters in Milton Keynes

Milton Keynes Council has wheeled out a trial of E-scooters as part of an innovative national scheme, working with Lime, Spin and Ginger.

The Milton Keynes trial of E-scooters will last up to 12 months and with no more than 900 scooters deployed during the trial.

The  E-scooters can be booked through the three operator apps, downloaded in the usual way through Apple and Google Play.

To find out more about when, where and how you can ride read the FAQ’s below.

How do I use and book an E-scooter

The scooters will be available to book via a phone app. These can be downloaded for free from the usual places.

Before using the scooter,  watch the short instructional video and review guide which will take you through the basic operations and show how and where you can use the scooters, where to park and finish your ride. There is a fee to use the scooters and this varies across the operators.

Do I need to wear a helmet?

The wearing of helmets is not compulsory, but it is advisable to wear one –  even on short journeys. Studies have shown that wearing helmets on cycles can reduce injury, the same is likely to be true on scooters.

How safe are the scooters?

The scooters have passed safety tests stipulated by the Department of Transport before being licenced. This means they have been approved in a similar way to any other road vehicles. They need to have two brakes, inflatable tyres, lights and a horn/bell. They cannot weigh more than 35kg and are restricted to less than 15mph. Users need to hold a driving licence, so medical fitness to operate the scooters has been established to same level as if you were to drive a car

How old do I have to be?

The operators have their own policies and restrict usage to over 18, but legally you need to be old enough to hold a current driving licence to use the scooters. This includes provisional licences from the age 16

How will your age be verified?

To join the scheme users will need to present their photo driving licence for a check via the app.

Where can I ride an E scooter?

Generally, you can ride a scooter where you can ride a cycle. The UK government has passed legislation to allow this for rental scooters which are part of a licenced trial such as the MK trial.

For Milton Keynes this will primarily mean the Redway network. You can ride them on roads, but they will be restricted away from the grid roads. In CMK the scooters should be ridden on the service roads through car parking areas and via underpasses. E – Scooters are not allowed on pavements.

How will scooters be restricted to the designated operating routes.

As with cycling it is sometimes difficult to enforce riding on correct routes. With scooters we will be using technology to apply geo fencing. This means that the scooters can have their power switched off or reduced when they move onto areas where they are ether not allowed or not wanted. The trial will test this capability to establish if it can operate successfully without other measures, if not we will be introducing other measure such as signage, or area restrictions.

Where can I park a scooter?

There are generally two types of operation, ‘free flow’ or docked. Free flow is where you can ride a scooter in an area and when you have finished your ride park your scooter for the next users. This system offers maximum flexibility and allows the scooters to give a door to door service – which for many is very attractive. The challenge for this operation is the risk that scooters can be parked almost anywhere and can been seen by some as ‘abandoned’. In most cases this is not the case and the scooter is normally re used for the next journey fairly soon after it is left. The app shows in real time where the scooters are after a ride has finished.

The scooters are fitted with very accurate GPS  – so the operators know where the scooters are at all times.

Where scooters are not re used within a defined period (24hrs typically) the operations team are dispatched to relocate the scooter.

MKC and the operators are monitoring the use and parking of the scooters in real time, we will know within a few weeks of the trial starting to know where the ‘hotspots’ of usage are and this will probably lead to the formalising of some parking areas where we know the demand is. This will then develop into some partial ‘docked’ areas, where the scooters will be parked in designated pick up and drop off areas.

Users will be guided and instructed on where to leave scooters so that they do not cause obstruction to others. This means leaving at the side of a Redway or open space at a destination. Users will be encouraged to leave scooters in appropriate places through rewards (reduced future rides for example). Users are encouraged to take a photo of the parked scooter to help identify good parking. Ultimately if users persistently leave scooter in inappropriate places they can be ‘banned’ from the scheme.

How do I report an incident or raise an issue?

The scooters have contact details on them for you to contact the specific operator. Reporting can also be made by the operator’s websites, and the local contact details are;

Lime  

Email:  support@li.me

Tel: +44 800 808 5223

 https://www.li.me/en-us/home

Spin

https://spinpm.wpengine.com/

Ginger

https://www.ginger.town/

Standards have been set for the operators to deal with scooters that are not parked correctly or left for long periods without use. Typically they are required to respond between 2 – 4 hours of an incident of scooters blocking routes.

There are lots of E-scooters around but with no charge?

A service vehicle goes around overnight and either takes the E-scooters away to be charged or their batteries are swapped. The E-scooters tend to last between 2-3 days between charges, and are monitored remotely for their charging state.

What about other users of the Redway and in particular disabled users ?

The Redways provide over 250km of shared use pathways, with the routes typically 2- 3m wide. Our intention is to maximise the use of this asset to support more walking, cycling and now for the trial period – electric scooters. This network has the potential to deliver more sustainable travel for many residents and visitors. Most of these routes are currently underused, so we think there is space for all users. The trial will help confirm this – or not.

We are in dialogue with representative of the disabled community in MK and listening carefully to their concerns and issues. We have established a stakeholder advisory group with representatives from the Police, Parks Trust, Santander, Cycle Forum, Operators, MKC, Business and MK Centre for Integrated Living.  The role of this group will be to review the trial and offer recommendation for any amendments / action to be considered. The group will be invited to deliver a report to Government on completion of the trial to advise on whether Government should continue with e scooters as a future transport mode.

We are also working with the Guide Dogs for the Blind to take on their views as the trial develops.

What about private E Scooters?

These are not part of the trial and currently remain illegal to use in MK and indeed throughout the UK. Only scooters licenced through the trial are permitted in MK

Where can I get more information?

The operator’s websites give more detailed information. Milton Keynes Council will also be publishing regular updates. The Department for Transport also provides information about the trial’s programme and rationale behind them.

What about Covid-19?

The scooter companies publish their policy towards reducing the risk from Covid on their websites. The operations are outdoors and the companies clean their scooters regularly, and as single person vehicles offer a high degree of self–isolation. As with all activities, we ask that users who are showing symptoms follow current Government/ Public Health England guidance.

 

 

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