'No complaints' over e-scooters in Sunderland, meeting told as trial extended
An extension to Sunderland’s e-scooter trial until November has been backed by councillors, who noted the rollout has been “very positive”.
Sunderland City Council’s cabinet has agreed to extend the trial until November 30 this year to allow for more data to be gathered.
E-scooter operator Neuron began its rental trial at the end of March 2021, with Sunderland among dozens of cities and towns running similar programmes.
The extension is in line with a revised end date for nationwide trials from the Department for Transport (DfT).
Councillor Louise Farthing, cabinet member for children, learning and skills, speaking at the cabinet meeting on Tuesday (February 8), said at a workshop with elected members the reaction to the trial was “very positive”.
She said: “I was pleased to hear that those councillors who represent the areas where the trial has been taking place have said that the current response to the trial is very positive.
“They’re getting very, very few, or no complaints whatsoever.
“I think there was a general feeling that the councillors that don’t have the e-scooters in their wards would like to have the trial extended to those wards.”
Councillor Graeme Miller, city council leader, said discussions are ongoing with DfT about an expansion of the trail into new areas.
It was previously reported two options were being discussed including an extension via the newly built section of Sunderland’s Strategic Transport Corridor and Northern Spire corridor connecting to the Nissan/IAMP employment area.
The second option includes an extension into more city routes.
Sunderland’s trial was launched on March 31, 2021 and was intended to be in place until November 2021, however in September 2021 it was extended to March 2022.
George Symes, UK regional manager at operator Neuron, said they are “delighted” the trial has been extended further.
He said: “In Sunderland Neuron e-scooters have been embraced by the community, with 86% of riders believing they have made a positive impact on the city.
“Since operations began a year ago our e-scooters have travelled over 100,000 miles.
“We are very pleased to continue to offer e-scooters in Sunderland, they provide a safe, convenient and environmentally-friendly transport option for the city.”
He added 42% of trips have replaced a car journey, which has reduced congestion and eliminated around 10 tonnes of CO2, while research has shown 54% of all rides result in a purchase, boosting the local economy.