“I’ve seen lots of coverage about e-scooters recently, and whilst there is a minority opposed to this new form of active travel, I’m still proud Redditch is one of the e-scooter trial areas in the country.
“We must always remember that we in this country are trialling e-scooters. Unlike our friends in Europe, we haven’t just gone ahead and legalised them. This would have been the wrong approach.
“We’re trialling e-scooters to see what impact they have on other road users, pedestrians, and on other groups such as those with disabilities and mobility issues, and this will be a vital part of our decision whether to legalise them or not.
“The e-scooters you see with the ‘Bird’ logo on them are legal and are part of the trial. You can ride these e-scooters on the road and on cycle paths, but they should not be ridden on pavements.
“Privately owned e-scooters are still illegal. If you see an e-scooter without the Bird logo on that is being ridden on the road or the pavement then that rider is breaking the law.
“So far, the data from the Redditch e-scooter trial is fantastic. Over 50,000km have been covered by riders since the trial began in October last year. Over 17,540 rides have also taken place, with an average of 2.9km being covered per ride.
“Redditch was the first UK town to appoint Bird as their supplier for the micro-mobility service. If you visit their website you’ll see that Redditch is featured on the same list as places like San Francisco, Miami, Tel Aviv and Madrid – I think that’s pretty cool.
2I have received a very small number of complaints from residents about the e-scooter trial. But to put this in perspective there are more than 85,000 people in our town, and I’ve received less than 10 emails complaining about the trial. I take their concerns very seriously and I always raise their complaints with Bird.
“Bird has issued bans for riders in the Redditch area for bad parking and where they have found riders to be under-age. Bird also operates a warning system. In all, it has only been necessary to issue punishments for 33 riders in total.
“I’m really pleased the trial has also been extended for a further six months, as well as the trial area being expanded in Redditch to cover more areas. You can now reach Church Hill and Winyates in the east and Webheath in the west.
“Once the trial has finished, the Government will then evaluate the data and decide about the future use of this form of active travel. Until then, I do hope local residents will continue to use the e-scooters safely.”