Mention Santander Cycles and people look at you blankly. But ask them about Boris Bikes and they immediately know what you’re on about. And now Sadiq Scooters look set for a similar destiny, because finally TFL have announced they’re coming to London.
A familiar sight on the streets of European capitals and in the US, electric scooters have been slow to take off in the UK, where the law regulating them is strict. But now these little 20mph deathtraps will be hurtling through the capital’s street and all that’s needed now is for a cash-strapped TFL to find a partner willing to fund the whole shebang.
Now these 20mph deathtraps will be hurtling through the capital's streets...
The Department of Transport gave councils the go-ahead to pilot e-scooters back in July, though they remain illegal to ride on the streets under private ownership (despite the fact they’re already everywhere).
And after TFL has spent the last few months consulting with London’s boroughs, around one in three has now expressed an interest in the scheme and a 12 month trial will begin this spring with 60 to 150 electric scooters allocated to each participating borough.
The coming e-scooter revolution also may explain why TFL has been so keen to splash out on cycle lanes lately. The ‘wanded’ lanes, such as down the A24 in Wandsworth, have been locally divisive as they create havoc for the disabled, who can no longer park outside high street stores and likely further disadvantage lower income families who often live on built up roads which are probably now more polluted due to standstill traffic and closed-off side roads.
Plus they upend the hierarchy principle of car-bike-pedestrian, by moving bus stops to blizzaro floating platforms that are presumably designed as a Total Wipeout revival for the elderly. But with the arrival of e-scooters they suddenly makes sense.
Allowing the fast moving erratic ‘vehicles’ into the usual traffic flow would likely see serious injury and deaths mount up (not cool for any corporate sponsor), so cyclists will soon find themselves vying for space in the newly created lanes with super-charged electric scooters.
The hanging question now is who has deep enough pockets to sponsor the project? TFL are looking for a big corporate willing to bankroll the scooter scheme and they’re scrabbling around for coin in what’s predicted to be one of the biggest recessions in history.
Good luck to them…
Cyclists will soon find themselves vying for space in the newly created lanes with super-charged electric scooters...