Bristol set to trial electric scooters in bid to reduce congestion and improve air quality

Bristol City Council is bidding to be one of the first cities to put e-scooters to the test after a government consultation on their use ended on 2 June.

The council sees the battery powered vehicles as one route to a less congested and less polluted city.

It believes with lighter traffic and reduced public transport use, due to the coronavirus pandemic, now would be the perfect time to give them a go.

The debate over e-scooters is not new, with many people arguing they could be a dangerous addition to the roads.

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The more options we give people, the better. So I think the government have been kind of spurred into action to get this going as well. If there's any trial that's needed to test e-scooter schemes then Bristol's up for that.

Cllr Kye Dudd, Bristol City Council

Currently, e-scooters are only legal only on private roads and anyone disobeying the rules is liable to a £300 fine and six points on their license.

If the government grants the trial, Bristol City Council has proposed that they would be used in cycle lanes, not on pavements.

The scooters would be rented via an app, much like Bristol's YoBike scheme.

Credit: ITV News

Los Angeles based company, Bird, which could provide Bristol with its vehicles, say the scooters can transform transport options.

Harry Porter from Bird said: "Essentially, what we are trying to do is to make these cities more liveable and move a little bit freer.

By replacing some of the car trips with electric scooter trips you'll see a reduction in traffic and an improvement in the quality of air."