Electric scooters for rent could be coming to Glasgow

Glasgow City Council believe the scheme would offer a low-carbon, socially-distanced alternative to public transport.

Electric scooters for rent could be coming to Glasgow Getty Images

An electric scooter rental scheme could be coming to Glasgow.

Council officers believe a trial should be given the go-ahead, with scooters offering an alternative to public transport and cars for short commutes.

They would have a maximum speed of 15.5mph and users would need to be at least 18-years-old, with a provisional driving licence.

There are “legal hurdles” to be overcome before a trial could take place.

A change to Scottish legislation would be required so that electric scooters can be used legally on roads and cycle paths.

It would also need the approval of the Department for Transport and Transport Scotland.

Councillor Anna Richardson, city convener for sustainability and carbon reduction, said: “E-scooters have the potential to add to Glasgow’s transport system while keeping carbon emissions down.

“We are following the trials with other local authorities with interest and we do see that there are some issues with how they are used.

“A trial is a chance for any problems to be ironed out and see whether the advantages outweigh any concerns.

“There are a number of legal hurdles to overcome before a trial could be established in Glasgow, but a trial is something we are looking at very carefully.”

The trial is being recommended to councillors in a paper to the council’s environment committee next week.

It is a move the council hopes would provide more opportunities for low carbon transport over short distances, following the success of the city’s bike hire scheme.

A formal procurement exercise, to identify an operator for the trial, would be needed if legal approval is secured.

The decision on whether to hold a trial would be made by the city administration committee.

Councils in England have launched electric scooter trials after the Department for Transport indicated scooters would be allowed on roads and cycle paths, but not pavements.

Glasgow City Council has been approached by a number of operators. It has been reported a trial could run without any cost to the council.

The scooters would be monitored through GPS and would be inoperable outside certain boundaries.

This means limits can be set on where scooters can go, as well as what speed they can travel.

A council report states: “In general, use of the scooters would cost £1 to unlock followed by a charge of 12-35p per minute of use, depending on the operator.”

Privately owned e-scooters remain illegal on public infrastructure.

Story by local democracy reporter Drew Sandelands

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