Neuron to end e-scooter scheme in Sunderland - here's why and when it will stop

Neuron is to end its electric scooter pilot scheme in Sunderland, with rising energy costs a key factor in the decision.

Operator Neutron announced today that it will be ending the trial – which has seen hundreds of the distinctive orange scooters made available at locations across the city – on November 30.

But Sunderland City Council says it is to continue the pilot, with a new partner already in place.

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A trial of e-scooters was launched in March last year, in an effort to provide ‘safe, socially-distanced and environmentally-friendly transport’, with the area covered by the project extended in April and May of this year to covers areas such as the Stadium of Light and Nissan.

Now Neuron has confirmed it is winding up the project.

Cormac Quinn, Neuron’s Regional Manager for United Kingdom, said: “Neuron has made the difficult decision not to reapply for a new e-scooter contract in Sunderland.

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"A number of commercial factors, including increasing energy costs, have led us to make this decision. Neuron’s operations will cease by November 30, 2022.

“We thank Sunderland City Council for their trust and support throughout the trial and will work with them to achieve a smooth wind down of the service."

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Soaring energy costs have been blamed for the end of Sunderland's e-scooter trial

The trial has seen 20,000 unique riders cover 170,000 miles, with 40 per cent of trips replacing car journeys and saving 18 tonnes of CO2.

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“Over the course of the e-scooter trial in Sunderland we have grown our ridership, expanded the riding area and also introduced a range of measures in an attempt to improve the overall efficiency and dynamics of the programme,” said Mr Quinn.

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"We will be communicating fully to our riders and will be reimbursing any outstanding passes or credits. This will not affect our operations in Newcastle which will continue as normal.”

A Sunderland City Council spokesperson said: “It has been great to work with Neuron over the last two years, and we would like to thank them for their efforts in bringing e-scooters to Sunderland and integrating this new form of travel in a safe and sustainable manner.

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"We look forward to continuing the trial with a new operator.”