An e-scooter trial will begin in Canterbury after Kent County Council successfully bid to be part of the UK government’s 12-month pilot.
The council has appointed micromobility operator Bird to provide a fleet of e-scooters in a controlled set route serving students from the University of Kent and Canterbury Christ Church University.
Bird has worked with the council to geofence the approved route and the scooters will power down if they cross the boundary. If the trial zone is successful, the council said it will open it up to a broader area.
Michael Payne, Kent County Council cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “The trial will help us establish how the scooters are used and how they interact with other highway users, though they will be limited to a set route between the two campuses.
“It is our hope that eventually everyone will be able to enjoy the benefits of sustainable travel as part of their commute, offering an alternative to car travel, with an ambition to help reduce congestion and improve air quality in Canterbury. Ultimately the scheme will help inform government as to whether this form of travel will be sanctioned on the highway network and if so, in what way.”
According to the council, a number of initiatives will be put place to ensure the e-scooters are ridden correctly. Bird offers in-app and in-person safety training and will host safe riding events where it will give away free helmets to riders.
All riders must hold a provisional or full drivers’ licence and be over 18 before they can ride. The e-scooters are also GPS-enabled so Bird can ensure the e-scooters are ridden and parked correctly.