E-Scooter rental firm Dott eyes UK expansion if London trial succeeds
One of the three companies launching rental e-scooters on London’s roads tomorrow has already set its sights on expansion across the UK.
Dutch firm Dott – which runs schemes in Paris, Milan and Rome – will target Bristol and the West Midlands.
Dott, along with fellow specialists Lime and Tier, will be supplying 250 e-scooters in seven areas across London – including Richmond and Canary Wharf.
On trial: Dott, along with fellow specialists Lime and Tier, will be supplying 250 e-scooters in seven areas across London – including Richmond and Canary Wharf
Plans for the year-long trial have triggered safety fears among pedestrians as well as concerns for the riders themselves.
Safety measures include indicators and a 12.5mph top speed. The Government is looking at making rental e-scooters legal. E-scooters are currently only legal on private land.
Dott UK general manager Duncan Robertson stressed the scooter’s safety measures, which include signal lights on the handlebars and back wheels and trainer modules for drivers. Riders will be limited to 8pm in some areas or prevented from riding there completely.
Robertson said: ‘Safety is the number one priority for the London trial. We’ve packed the scooters with safety features and are promoting safety in all our marketing.’
The scooters can only be ridden by adults, although Robertson admitted that there was no way to prevent children from using them if they had been unlocked via the Dott app by an older person.
The year-long trial will be used to assess usage and accident data.
Robertson added: ‘It’s a very good time to launch because effectively scooters are personalised transport. So from a Covid prevention perspective individual modes of transport are, by definition, socially distanced so we’re much less likely to have any problems compared to being crammed into the buses or the tube.’
Robertson said that, if the legislation changes Bristol and the West Midlands were next on his expansion list, ‘but we’ll see what happens in the market as a whole’. The firm is also planning to launch ebikes in London later this year.
The firm is also looking at technology that would slow or stop scooters ridden on the pavement.
Liz Brooker, chair of Road Safety GB, said assessing casualty data would be key, as well as ‘for city and transport planners looking at where people are using the pavements, where cyclists and e-scooter riders feel that the road isn’t safe enough for them’.