Middlesbrough has today become the first place in the UK to launch a trial of e-scooters.
The scheme, secured by Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen, was launched this morning in Centre Square.
50 e-scooters will be available before the pilot goes live across all five boroughs of the Tees Valley later this month.
Hubs for the re-charging and parking of the e-scooters have been set up at popular and busy areas such as:
Middlesbrough Bus Station
Many more areas are planned for the pilot, including South Tees Hospital and the Teesside University campus.
The launch of e-scooters will follow in Hartlepool and Redcar & Cleveland in the coming days.
The Government is now finalising its work on preparing the July economic stimulus package that will drive the way for an economic recovery
The roll out of the pilot comes just two weeks after the Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps changed the legal status of e-scooters to allow them to be used on roads as part of the pilot.
When the pilot is at full strength up to 500 of the battery powered vehicles will be on the region’s roads and cycleways over the next 12 months.
UK based e-scooter company Ginger has designed the scheme’s infrastructure to provide a simple, cost-effective and reliable alternative to walking or cars.
At the start of the trial each parking location will be strictly geo-fenced so users must leave their e-scooters in these locations at the end of the ride, otherwise they will continue to be charged.
With all the pressures on transport from climate change, air pollution, congestion, and now Covid-19, we urgently need better options for getting around. Smaller e-vehicles, including e-scooters, provide those better options, and will become a major part of local transport in years to come.
During the trial period, the e-scooters can be ridden by anyone over the age of 18 with a provisional driving or moped licence.
They will be limited to a top speed of 11.5mph and helmets are recommended.