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Electric Cycles

Volume 678: debated on Thursday 2 July 2020

Southampton has received Government funding for additional cycle lanes, many of which lie unused for most of the day. My constituency is surrounded by hills, which is quite a deterrent for people on cycles. E-bikes and e-scooters could make a significant difference. I welcome the news that e-scooters will become legal this weekend, but without relaxing the regulations for privately owned e-scooters, a city centre hire scheme will make little or no difference in Southampton. Will my hon. Friend look again at privately owned e-scooters to encourage more of my constituents out of their cars?

My hon. Friend is right to say that we need to capitalise on the unprecedented growth in active travel that we have seen recently, especially on bicycles and e-bicycles. He is completely correct about e-scooters; these trials will only include rental scooters. This will allow them to take place in a controlled manner while we assess the safety and other impacts. A wide range of e-scooters are available, building to different standards. I would like to think that the trials will demonstrate how useful they are in the mix for active travel.