Salford E-scooter trial extended for further six months: what does this mean for their future

  • Figures from department for transport (DfT) suggest 460 E-Scooter crashes caused 484 casualties and one death last year.
  • DfT warns that some accidents may have been missed or unreported
  • Councillor Mike McCusker supports extension as part of Salford’s transport strategy

Salford has been one of over 30 locations in the UK used for e-scooter trials.

The current trial began 12 months ago and was due to end in October.

However, it has been extended for a further six months with the territory expanded as far as Salford Royal Hospital.

Councillor Mike McCusker,  lead member for planning and development at Salford Council, expressed support for the scheme.

He said: “I support the extension of the DfT trial of e-scooters in Salford as part of our transport strategy to reduce dependence of private cars, reduce congestion, to support our ambition to create a carbon neutral region by 2038, reduce emissions to legal levels by 2024.

“We are investing huge amounts in public transport and in creating infrastructure for cycling and walking, but low-cost non-polluting vehicles, such as these have a role to play in the mix, especially in resolving that first and final mile of journeys to transport hubs and attractions.”

The trial has been entirely run by Lime Scooters who have partnered with Salford Council for the study.  

Lime provides scooters in 125 cities across the world, including European capitals: Paris, Berlin, and London, to name a few.

All are significantly larger than Salford but could paint a picture of how e-scooters are used in Manchester if trials continue to expand or scooters become fully legalised.

At present it is illegal to use scotter in public unless in an official trial zone. The only legal place of use outside of these trials is on private land with the landowner’s permission. 

London leads UK casualties. Figures from DfT suggest that in the UK there were 460 E-Scooter crashes which caused 484 casualties and one death in 2020.

None of these were recorded in Greater Manchester. However, the DfT has warned that many incidents may have been missed or not recorded. 

Councillor McCusker said: “We have one reported incident where a rider was hit but did not sustain serious injury, by a taxi while on a crossing. Which in over 100,000 journey compares favourably with other modes of transport.”

Of the UK’s 484 casualties in 2020, the Met Police report that 291 of these had been reported to them, equating to 60% of the national total.  

The capital has seen three deaths due to E-Scooter accidents in 2021 alone. 

Paris sets speed limit 

As recently as June, Paris threatened the banning of e-scooters if operators did not enforce speed limits.

This came in response to the death of a 32-year-old pedestrian who was knocked down and killed by two riders who fled the scene.

Deputy mayor of Paris, David Belliard, who is in charge of transport in the French capital, said: “Either the situation improves significantly and scooters find their place in public areas without causing problems, in particular for pedestrians, or we are studying getting rid of them completely.” 

Since then the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, announced new legislation to set the speed limits of E-Scooters to 20 Km/h in most areas and 8 Km/h in areas of heavy foot traffic. 

In September, French transport minister, Elisabeth Borne announced a nationwide ban on e-scooters on pavements with any breach resulting in a 135 euro fine. 

German transport study shows staggering statistics

In Germany the DLR Institute of Transport Research concluded that when travelling by e-scooter people are twice as likely to have an accident compared with cycling. 

According to the study 1.2 accidents occur for every million kilometres cycled, compared to 5.5 accidents for E-Scooters

Furthermore, for every million kilometres cycled, 0.18 accidents occur in which people are seriously injured or killed. For E-Scooters it is significantly higher at 0.88 accidents. 

How does this compare to Salford?

Councillor McCusker said: “There has been a very low level of incidents in relation to safety.

“E-scooters in the trial scheme are more regulated than other forms of similar transport, such as cycling, skateboarding and traditional scooters in that the verification system should only allow someone over 18 with at least a provisional licence to ride.”

He said: ‘geofencing’ would be an important measure to allow appropriate usage.

Councillor McCusker added: “In terms of advice, I would suggest to those using the e-scooters to be courteous to others using the road. 

Only use the Lime hire e-scooters, which are the only form of legal e-scooters and avoid use of privately owned scooters.  Use the increasing number of cycle lanes we are creating and only use pavements where their use is permitted, which are clearly marked. 

“Complimentary helmets are available from Lime and free training is available, which I would urge residents to take up.”