The transportation revolution
A couple of weeks ago we wrote about The Transport Committee's inquiry into the potential contribution PETV (Personal Electric Transportation Vehicles) could play in helping the UK reach their greenhouse gas emission targets.
While Coronavirus continues to wreak havoc on our way of life, the latest Government announcement bodes well for the future of e-scooters on UK roads.
Alongside the Government's £2 billion investment into greener transportation solutions, it was also announced on Sunday's Coronavirus press briefing that while restrictions on working (however those were originally defined & interpreted) have been relaxed, the public has been urged to find alternative ways to commute other than public transport.
Even if this wasn't the case, observing the 2m social distancing guidelines would mean that most public transport services would only be able to carry 10 passengers at a time, which would result in a nightmarish commute for most of us, especially in cities.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said that the commute to work will likely be vastly different in a post-lockdown environment, adding that it presents an “enormous logistical challenge” as well as a “health opportunity”.
Fancy commuting to work on your electric scooter?
Aside from announcing strides pop-up cycle lanes, wider pavements and bus & cycle-only lanes, Mr Shapps went on to reveal plans to fast-track the electric scooter consultation launched in March, has now been set to conclude by the end of June, instead of in 2021. As of last night (May 9) the UK’s four Future Mobility Zones (the West Midlands, West of England Combined Authority, Portsmouth and Southampton, Derby and Nottingham) are set to conduct the trials.
"I’m extending those trips from four local authorities to every region of the country that’s wants them in a bid to get e-scooter rental schemes up and running in cities as fast as possible.“Helping reduce car use on shorter journeys and taking some of the pressure off the busses at this time. These trials will help us assess the safety benefits as well as the impact on public spaces”.
This news has already ignited these local authorities across the country, with Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), Birmingham City Council and Coventry City Council launching a trial to explore how e-scooters can supplement existing transportation to ease congestion and reduce emissions.
While the Government's stance on the Covid-19 exit plan remains almost uninterpretable, it is hard to argue with the merits of electric scooter and other forms of PETV as viable alternative forms of transportation.