Yesterday (July 13) saw the Tees Valley become the first place in the UK to launch e-scooter trials, after Mayor Ben Houchen successfully campaigned to secure the pilot.
Launched in Middlesbrough, the roll out will initially feature 50 e-scooters before it goes live across all five boroughs of the Tees Valley later this month.
Hubs to re-charge and park the e-scooters have been set up at the busiest areas, including the bus station, park and village, with a view to extend to the South Tees Hospital and Teesside University Campus.
As the pilot progresses to full capacity over the next 12 months, up to 500 battery powered vehicles will be operational across the region’s roads and cycleways.
Mayor Houchen said:
“Within weeks we will have these brilliant e-scooters appearing around Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool, helping local people get around in a clean, cost-effective and socially distanced alternative to other forms of public transport in a post-coronavirus world.
“This move shows that our region is committed to being a driving force in innovative technologies. Our area already has a great reputation for the offshore sector and that will soon be joined by other projects like hydrogen refuelling, and the Net Zero Teesside project, the world’s first full-scale carbon capture, storage and utilisation scheme.
“E-scooters are another example of how we’re doing things differently in the region and how we’re positioning ourselves at the forefront of clean energy and developing the technologies of the future, which is crucial for my plan for good quality, high skilled local jobs for local workers.
“Once again, here in Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool, we are leading the way for the rest of the UK to follow.”
The trial period permits anyone over the age of 18 with a provisional driving or moped licence to ride the scooter, with a speed limit of 11.5mph.
Image: Ben Houchen with an e-scooter