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All-Party Parliamentary Group for Cycling and Walking (APPGCW) meeting on e-Scooters – Minutes

Friday the 23rd of April 20201 – 10am – 11.30am


Parliamentary RSVPs:

Baroness Barker

Baron Hoffman

Baron Young of Cookham

Feryal Clark MP

Lilian Greenwood MP

Lord Berkeley

Lord Lucas

Lord Russell of Liverpool

Rachael Maskell MP


Introduction from Ruth Cabdury MP (5 Mins)


Welcome to our third meeting of the year, focussing on e-scooters.


For MPs it is quite a controversial issue in our post bags.


Initially planned for this year, the regulations were brought forward, partly to provide additional transport options during the pandemic, and additional to help tackle the environmental crisis.


Announcing the start of the trials last year, Transport Minister Rachel Maclean said:


‘’E-scooters may offer the potential for convenient, clean and cost-effective travel that may also help ease the burden on the transport network, provide another green alternative to get around and allow for social distancing. The trials will allow us to test whether they do these things.’’


This meeting is a great opportunity to see how things are going so far, and we will be hearing from a number of operators, as well as key stakeholders in this conversation – I will take you through all our speakers now.


The operators are not here to sell themselves, but to talk about the challenges they have faced and any lessons learnt.


Richard Dilks, Chief Executive, CoMo UK

Pete Mills, Public Affairs Officer ‎The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association

Collette Dunkley, External Relations Director, Neuron Mobility

Alan Clarke, Senior Director of Government Relations, Lime

Ben Bell, Head of Public Policy, Northern Europe, Tier

Haya Douidri, VP EMEA ‎Superpedestrian

Richard Corbett, Regional GM – UK, Ireland & Benelux, VOI

Phil Ellis, CEO and Co-founder, Beryl

Richard McKiernan, Traffic Management Unit, Avon & Somerset Police

Dominie Dunbrook, Senior Economic Development Officer, North Devon Council


Operator representatives will have around 3 minutes to speak each, and the rest of our speakers will have around 7 minutes, with time for a few questions after each. Please put your questions in the chat.


10.05 – 10.15am (7 Mins + 3 Mins for Questions)

Richard Dilks, Chief Executive, CoMo UK


  • Delighted that the APPGCW is taking a structured interest in this area. As a charity dedicated to the public benefit of shared transport, this is an important area for them to look at.
  • 21 year old charity dedicated to public benefit of shared transport such as bike, car, and e-scooter schemes.
  • Introduction of e-scooter trials has been positive – and it has also had a galvanising impact on wider transport policy and thinking.
  • There is a worrying shift towards car ownership and driving more widely.
  • We have a new target of 78% cut in emissions by 2035, however transport is the problem now. Largest emitting sector.
  • Como UK website has a map of the trials that are currently up and running.
  • DfT is gathering official data through comprehensive data gathering on e-scooter trials and will have a report coming soon.
  • Able to show some data for now. 9,5000 scooters which has been climbing steadily. At least 2 million journeys have taken place.
  • Average trip length of over 4 miles.
  • Almost all operators involved in trials have put forward a number of initiatives for Covid, centering on shared journeys etc.
  • Some initial data on modal shift.
  • Important to look at how schemes are integrated. The trend is moving towards parklets and mobility hubs which can knit together the different options – making it attractive and easy for people to do the right things.
  • Como UK provides accreditation for mobility hubs.


Ruth: How can e-scooter riders be educated on the safety risks on the roads? Also how can we improve awareness of HGV drivers as well?


  • We’re in a world where DfT have not proscribed yet.
  • It is something that they are working on with a number of stakeholders.
  • All operators have a way of doing training.
  • TfL have done a lot of work with HGV drivers on cycling. There is a lot of exciting things that can be done for e-scooters, including swapping roles.


Caspar Hughes: modal share around e-scooters + public transport, what do we know about portability – are people using them as part of public transport journeys?


  • As we know they (private e-scooters) are not legal on roads yet. Conversation to be had in the future about how they can be used with public transport.


Chris Boardman: is there a concern around e-scooters and their impact on replacing active travel?


  • We don’t have the data in the UK, but definitely something to keep an eye on. We want to make sure the net impact is positive.


10.15am – 10.25am (7 Mins + 3 Mins for Questions)

Pete Mills, Public Affairs Officer ‎The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association


  • Campaign to make it easier for people with sight loss to get out and about.
  • This is why e-scooters are very much on their radar.
  • Sales of e-scooters are booming – even though they are illegal to use on roads.
  • E-scooters driven on the pavement, or when rental e-scooters are inconsiderably parked they can have a really negative impact. As they are silent people with vision impairment can often not see them coming.
  • Held an event this week and heard from a woman in Nottingham who uses a cane to get around, and she has had a problem with parked scooters every time she goes out. She has also been injured trying to get round one.
  • She is now more anxious and has to take a detour when she is going out to avoid e-scooters.
  • This experience is something they have been hearing about in trial and non-trial areas.
  • Have been working with operators closely. When they first rolled out they had some strong claims from operators about geo-fencing etc. and have not got there yet.
  • Very concerned about private e-scooters.
  • They will be making recommendations to the Government when the trials come to an end.
  • One of the problems for people with sight loss is that you can’t hear e-scooters coming. Could they have audible warnings? Some operators are thinking about trialling this and it could work well.
  • The Government also needs to think about enforcement.
  • Some retailers sell e-scooters and don’t tell people that they are not legal on the road. Some you can purchase on Amazon have top speeds of up to 50mph.


Do people with sight impairment in other countries experience the same problems with schemes?


  • Yes, we have spoken to organisations in other countries. Although in other countries there is a difference in the balance between private e-scooters and rental.
  • But the same issues around driving on the pavement etc. are the same as here.


In schemes where you don’t have to dock in a particular place, do you get a sense of the difference in experience?


  • We would strongly prefer docking areas. Even in schemes where you do have that, the technology is not yet good enough to ensure that.
  • Get sent a lot of images of e-scooters left in difficult places.


Ruth: Knows of people with hidden disabilities who would really benefit from e-scooters, so it’s a difficult issue. There was also an incident in her constituency of someone being injured by a private e-scooter.


10.25am – 10.45am (Around 3 Mins each)


Collette Dunkley, External Relations Director, Neuron Mobility


  • In the UK they have Slough, Newcastle and Sunderland.
  • In Slough, usage tends to be a lot of business – going to a trading estate and hospital from the train station.
  • They find a lot of journeys are integrated with other forms of transport.
  • Have been looking at providing e-scooters for care workers who visit different locations in the same area.
  • Launched in Newcastle in February during lockdown. In the first week of the trial they had a high takeup of students – and there was some anti-social behaviour. They agreed to bring in a curfew, and also issued bans and offences. Also agreed with the council to increase the number of designated parking spaces.


Alan Clarke, Senior Director of Government Relations, Lime


  • Largest e-scooter company.
  • Specifically in the UK, they are not only trials of e-scooter and e-scooter operators they are also a trial of the regulations themselves which can differ from area to area.
  • Clearly no regulation is a bad idea for everyone.
  • The most successful areas that they have been involved in is where regulations are quite tight around parking etc.
  • Where they have worked with councils to do that they have seen higher public support.
  • Have also learned about multi-modality – with bikes and e-scooters. They tend to price the bikes below the e-scooters. Where people have concerns that e-scooters take away from cycling and walking – it is good to have the options and opens whole new avenues for people if they download the app to use a scooter and then try the bike.


Ben Bell, Head of Public Policy, Northern Europe, Tier


  • Live in the UK since October.
  • From a procurement perspective, people like to try the vehicles first.
  • Testing claims and vehicles would be beneficial.
  • Need to listen to local authorities and the different needs for each area.
  • Initially e-scooters in Paris were not regulated which led to chaos. First to restrict customers only to park in designated areas which is why they were kept on when the city got rid of some operators.
  • There needs to be mandatory training, and tough enforcement where necessary.


Haya Douidri, VP EMEA ‎Superpedestrian


  • Geofencing, accuracy etc. are all very important.
  • Have spent 2 years studying geo fencing before putting one scooter on the ground. You need to embed more intelligence and data into the scooter itself.
  • When choosing an operator, cities should trial and see how reliable they are. Not just a 10 minute test of the vehicle itself.
  • Parking solutions are all about private / public collaboration.
  • It can only work when the city takes the lead.
  • For large cities, it is important to have multiple operators.


Richard Corbett, Regional GM – UK, Ireland & Benelux, VOI


  • 82% of riders are 18-32.
  • 40% of users are women.
  • Getting parking right is very important. Cooperation with councils and stakeholders is essential.
  • Should also punish people for bed behaviour and reward for good behaviour.
  • Have taken 300,000 cars off the road – so should be comfortable taking car parking spaces off the road.
  • Have a vision zero which they will continue working towards.
  • There is a lack of accountability and regulation for private e-scooters.


Phil Ellis, CEO and Co-founder, Beryl


  • Involved in around 8 different micromobility schemes around the country. 3 of which have e-scooters.
  • Offer the full range of vehicles. Think that this is very important to offer different vehicles for different price points.
  • Have always run bike share service and e-scooter services with enforceable parking controls which are essential. It allows you to work on things such as parklets which then help other active travel.
  • Running any service requires diligence and an unwavering focus on safety. Commercially, introducing e-scooters can provide a shot in the arm for a micromobility fleet.
  • Really keen to build the e-scooter into the micromobility asset class.
  • If we have policies that support shared transport and active travel, then creating shared systems which are commercially viable – we should use the e-scooter to benefit active travel more broadly.


10.45am – 10.55am (7 Mins + 3 Mins for Questions)

Richard McKiernan, Traffic Management Unit, Avon & Somerset Police


  • E-scooter trials – a police perspective
  • Initial reaction on hearing about the trials was concern. Worried about an increase in collisions.
  • Take around 100 calls involving an e-scooter, but often the e-scooter is not the focus of the call.
  • Trial scooters are involved in very few incidents.
  • Trials do not come without some issues or concerns from local people. Community concerns:
    • Poor riding
    • Pavement riding
    • 2 up
    • Underage riding
    • Parking issues
  • E-scooters are not recognised by police systems. There was also a need for education of officers.
  • Majority of users of private e-scooters seem entirely unaware that they are illegal.
  • This is something they are trying to tackle with retailers.
  • People often use them with the best intentions – but don’t know that they are not allowed.
  • People are usually given a warning initially, but sometimes they will take a vehicle and destroy it.
  • E-scooter trials, six months in have not produced the demand on the police that had been anticipated.
  • Making all e-scooters legal following the trail would be a real problem.
  • Now supports the trials in full.


Steve Wilson: Have you seen e-scooters being used as a transport option for gangs?


  • You have people who use them ‘properly’ to get to work and they adhere to the rules, although they are illegal. And then you have some young people using them.
  • You also have organised crime gangs using them to deliver drugs.


  • When you look at websites where e-scooters are being sold they are being sold on green credentials and ideal for commuters. Any warnings about being illegal are either non-existent or very small.


10.55am – 11.10am (7 Mins + 3 Mins for Questions)

Dominie Dunbrook, Senior Economic Development Officer, North Devon Council


  • Very rural district, one of the most rural districts within the DfT trial which is quite interesting to see how logistically it runs compared to other areas.
  • Hoping to see through the trial period a reduction in pollution and congestion around particular sites, including college.
  • Working with students – have confidence in the training that has been provided and the steps in place for safety.
  • Have very few cycle lanes in and around the main town of Barnstable.
  • Would need to see how infrastructure could be embedded more in transport policy to ensure e-scooters and other forms of transport can be used without mixing with cars too much.
  • Did have a discussion with neighbouring authority who decided not to be involved in the trial. Their key concern was safety on the high street where older residents may have found them to be a hazard.
  • Hoping that through their trial they can have designated parking areas outside pedestrianised high street to avoid that and to ensure the safe storage of the scooters when they are not being used.
  • After May they are hoping to do a large promotion of the trial and will see a larger take up of the offer when students get back onto campus full time.
  • Interested to see how the trial data pans out, and are considering that this could be a useful way of reducing congestion. Really pleased to be involved, worked closely with Devon and Cornwall police who will be doing some training alongside Voi and colleges when they can more safely do that.
  • Looking forward to getting Selaine onto a scooter really soon.


Ruth: Is there a logistics aspect to moving e-scooters around?


  • Yes, but with work for students, they will be able to trial keeping onto the e-scooter for an extended period of time.
  • None of the e-scooters are allowed to be used on roads over 40mph at the moment.


11.10am – 11.30am

Selaine Saxby MP chairs any additional questions from attendees and thanks everyone for attending.


David Davis (PACT) – if the objective is to get people out of cars, do people agree that limiting e-scooters to just those with driving licenses and others can cycle?


Alan Clarke – there are questions about accessibility. Is it acceptable to exclude people who don’t have a driving license from using the e-scooters.


How can you ensure e-scooters are parked safely and considerably and not ridden on pavements?


Richard Corbett – introducing AI technology to test if e-scooters can see that they are being ridden on a pavement.


Important for us to solve this problem – and although technology can be good, there are some things it can’t solve.


They have invested money in an ambassador scheme where people get out onto the streets and help people.


Also important to be able to ban people.


Ben Bell – endorse everything that has been said before. Also looking at introducing audio to e-scooters.


E-scooter battery charging can be dangerous – is there any guidance on this point?


Richard Corbett – all of our scooters use swappable batteries. Warehouses are temperature controlled. Long-term rentals or illegal rentals require education.


When done properly it can be incredibly safe.


Does compulsory helmet wearing improve driver behaviour?


Colette Dunkley – operate in Australia where it is compulsory and they see high take up.


Ben Bell – There is data which shows drivers drive more recklessly when they see someone wearing a helmet.


Lord Rusself of Liverpool – doesn’t seem that there is as much interest in this from the police as there could be. Do the police have plans to address the problem?


Richard McKiernan – It is a concern. Police are often dealing with a huge number of calls, and have to prioritise them accordingly.

So police can do more wide community engagement.


Could we extend traffic wardens remit to monitor?


Potentially. Always a large policing family – the vast majority of calls are about private e-scooters rather than trial ones.


Fabian Hamilton MP: Should we not be focussing more on cycling and walking rather than e-scooters?


Richard Corbett – when you see e-scooters introduced, you see cycling and walking going up. They have had a big impact. You create an open mindedness to other forms of non-car travel.


Seeing average journeys of 2-4 miles.


The average pedestrian in the UK will walk up to 1k before they think about other forms of mobility. So as long as we keep a focus on the longer journeys.


Richard Dilks – e-scooters use more calories than driving a car, but less than walking. Important to be clear about that.


Find the compound effects very powerful. As people use shared options then they expand transport options.


Huw Merriman MP – Transport Select Committee – Asked a question about geo-fencing.






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