E-scooters on their way to Sunderland as trial involving 300-strong fleet gets set to kick off within weeks
A fleet of 300 e-scooters will be up for hire in Sunderland within weeks after the operator was announced for a trial run planned for Wearside.
Sunderland City Council has confirmed rental company Neuron Mobility will operate the eight-month pilot, with the first 100 scooters to be made available from late March 2021. The rest will follow in stages.
The orange scooters are billed as a “safe, socially-distanced and environmentally-friendly way to travel around the city.”
Each is GPS-enabled, and Geofencing technology will control where they are ridden and parked, with established slow-zones, no-ride zones and no-parking zones.
The electric vehicles will be fitted with a license plate for easy identification and to help promote responsible use, with Neuron to run a dedicated safety team as part of the trial.
The company said teams will move the scooters where they are needed most, help riders with signing in via an app, and offer practical tips for riding, with guidelines developed with help from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA).
The scooters, which are also being trialled in Newcastle, will be armed with hospital-grade disinfectant to help guard against covid and other infections. Helmets will also come attached to the scooters.
Zachary Wang, CEO of Neuron Mobility, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Sunderland City Council to launch their e-scooter trial.
"Sunderland is a fantastic city with great transport links and strong green credentials.
"As our second location in the North East we are excited to be able to bring our e-scooters to even more people in the region and help to cement e-scooters as an integral part of the North East’s transport mix.”
Sunderland City Council leader Councillor Graeme Miller said: “We are seeing in other towns and cities how e-scooters can offer another convenient, clean and cost-effective transport choice for residents and visitors.
“We're looking forward to this work with Neuron as we explore opportunities in Sunderland for clean and inexpensive travel that can also ease the burden on transport networks and allows for social distancing.
“Sunderland has set down its credentials and plans to become a carbon-neutral city, and if e-scooters can play a part in this then it's very important that we find out more through this trial.