E-scooters could be coming to a street near you - but riders need a safety course first

Tap above to watch video report by Simon Harris

Battery powered e-scooters can legally be hired in seven areas of London from next month, but riders will face strict safety rules and speed limits.

A year-long experiment will allow rented e-scooters to be used on some roads and bike lanes but not on footpaths.

Privately owned e-scooters are banned from public streets and pavements and will not be included in the government-backed trial.

Credit: TfL

Transport for London today announced three firms, Dott, Lime and Tier have been chosen to run the scheme.

  • The e-scooters must have front and rear lights permanently on, an ‘audible warning system’ and a maximum speed of 12.5mph

  • Riders will have to undergo an online safety course before first hiring a scooter from one of the approved operators

  • The e-scooters will be available in four London boroughs - Ealing, Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington & Chelsea and Richmond - along with the City of London and Canary Wharf.

Riders can travel between the City and Canary Wharf on roads and cycleways but will be unable to start or end a journey in Tower Hamlets.

City Hall said ‘Geo-fencing’ technology would allow operators to continue charging riders until their journey ends at an official parking bay in one of the designated trial areas.

The trial will start on June 7th. Three inner city boroughs - Lambeth, Southwark and Westminster have also applied to join.

Credit: TfL

Will Norman, London’s Walking & Cycling Commissioner, said: "We want to ensure a green, sustainable recovery from coronavirus, and e-scooters are an alternative to cars that could help with this.

"The safety of those using e-scooters, as well as other road users and pedestrians, is absolutely paramount, so it’s important that they are trialled in this rigorous way to ensure high standards. We look forward to exploring the role that e-scooters could play in London’s future," he added