Sunderland e-scooter trial set to be extended into next year so more data can be gathered
Sunderland’s e-scooter trial which launched earlier this year looks set to be extended into 2022 so more data on their use can be gathered.
E-scooter operator Neuron began Sunderland’s rental trail at the end of March this year with 200 distinctive orange e-scooters deployed across the city.
In the first four months to August there were 42,626 rides covering 107,000km (66,500 miles) completed and 45 complaints (0.1% of ride total).
A rider survey in May found that nearly half (42%) of e-scooter rides had directly displaced car journeys meaning around 12,000 fewer car trips in Sunderland and saving over 5,700kg of carbon emissions.
Subject to a decision at Sunderland City Council's next Cabinet meeting on Tuesday 14 September, the city's trial could be extended to March 2022.
Leader of Sunderland City Council, Councillor Graeme Miller said: "It is important that Sunderland continues to take part in the trial as our data contributes to deciding what happens nationally.
"This isn’t about expanding the trial, it's about continuing it as the trial began when we had Covid restrictions on where users could go and what they could visit. Data from over the summer and from over the winter is going to help inform national decision-making on what happens next.
"E-scooters could then be playing a key part in promoting active and sustainable modes of transport and supporting our moves towards a more dynamic, healthy and vibrant Sunderland.
"And, subject to more information from the trial, e-scooters could also help us achieve our low carbon ambitions for becoming a carbon neutral city by 2040 and a carbon neutral City Council by 2030."
Similar e-scooter trials have been taking place across the UK and are also being extended so the Government and Department for Transport (DfT) can gather more data.
Cllr Miller said the council has the scheme under continuous review and information from Sunderland and other trials will allow the Government to decide if e-scooters should be fully legalised.
George Symes, UK Regional Manager, Neuron Mobility, said; “We are very happy that Neuron’s e-scooter trial in Sunderland is set to be extended. Since beginning operations in March, our e-scooters have been embraced by locals, with 86% of riders believing that Neuron has created a positive impact for the local community. The e-scooters are already helping to boost the local economy following the COVID-19 pandemic, with 54% of rides resulting in a purchase – 10% of which would not have happened if e-scooters were not available.
"The e-scooter trial in Sunderland is also supporting Sunderland City Council’s sustainability goals. An impressive 42% of trips have replaced a car journey in Sunderland, which has contributed to an elimination of an estimated 27 tonnes of CO2 in the North East.
“We want to thank all our riders and partners for their ongoing support and commitment to making e-scooters a safe and successful addition to Sunderland’s roads.”