“e-bikes” to be added to York e-scooter trial?

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The trial of e-scooters has been operating in York since the 12th October.

According to a Council report, “the e-scooters are being introduced in a phased approach, gradually increasing the service area and number of e-scooters available.

This has split the city broadly into 5 sectors. Currently e-scooters are available in Sector 1 and 2, which includes e-scooter provision at the University of York, York Hospital, York St John’s University, and city centre locations.

 In the first six weeks of the trial, 10 parking locations were available for scooters with 116 e-scooters available for hire.

Over the first six weeks of the trial, 3,822 trips were taken, with a total of 25,012km travelled on e-scooters. During this period, no incidences (collisions) were reported”.

The report says, “other local authority areas participating in the trial have noted an increase in use of private e-scooters which remain illegal to ride on the public highway. Whilst their use has not been as prevalent in York, as the trial continues we may see a similar increase in use of private e scooters”.

The organisers of the scheme (TIER)  now want to expand the scooter numbers to 700 and add in some electric bikes.

 The rental of e-bikes would follow the same model as for e-scooters, with riders unlocking and paying for usage via a mobile phone app.  In line with government regulation, the maximum speed-assist of the e-bikes would be 15.5mph, with the power not exceeding 250 watts. Geo-fencing technology would be used to ensure a user cannot end their trip outside of designated parking locations and will continue the hire cost if left outside of these locations.

Pricing for e-bikes would be at the same cost as e-scooters, with £1 to unlock and £0.15 per minute to ride. (Thus a 20 minute ride from Acomb to the City centre would cost more than the equivalent bus fare)

Communal use transport, of course,  presents its own issues during the pandemic.

The proposal is to expand use as follows;

Sector 3 to include Clifton and Rawcliffe in January;

· Sector 4 to include Southbank and Heworth in February;

· Sector 5 to expand to the rest of the city from March 2021.

A meeting next week will decide whether to agree to expand the number of e-scooters available to 700. It is unclear how many e-bikes might be deployed.

There have been many previous attempts made to establish casual bike hire services in York. None have been successful, possibly because of the compact nature of the City which makes walking a viable option for many “journeys”.

12 month e-scooter and e-bike trial proposed for York

York could follow other cities like Milton Keynes and Cambridge by introducing a new 12-month trial to offer e-scooters and e-bikes at York Hospital and the University of York.

Scooter GIFs | Tenor

If approved by City of York Council, the preferred supplier will work alongisde York Hospital and the University of York to bring forward the trial later this month – ensuring safety, security and engagement with key groups are core to the trial being implemented.

The trial is part of efforts to support a ‘green’ restart of local travel and help mitigate the impact of reduced public transport capacity.

Funded and run in partnership with the Department of Transport (DfT), the trial could be rolled out in the city at York Hospital and the University of York.

There may be some scepticism about this project. Cycle hire schemes have not been successful in the past with some of the bikes ending up in the river.

We do have some doubts about the safety of electric scooters given the poor standards of road maintenance in parts of the City.

Still it may be worth a trial as long as taxpayers money is not put at risk.

A background report can be read by clicking here

Would you like to hire the Barbican – York’s largest entertainment venue?

City of York Council is inviting York-based groups, clubs or community organisations to apply for a discounted, concessionary day’s hire of York Barbican.

The council offers the concessionary days as part of its lease agreement with the Barbican’s operators, SMG. It’s interested in hearing from organisations who would like to take up one of the two bookings available in 2019.

The proposed events should be open and accessible to all. They should positively engage York’s communities, either by providing new opportunities for local residents to get involved as participants in putting on a show or event, or by creating new audiences, drawing in those who would not normally have the opportunity to attend cultural events. Above all, events must add to the quality and vibrancy of York’s offer. Events which are primarily designed to be fund-raisers are not supported.

Recent events have included Tang Hall SMART hosting an event involving a wide range of community groups from the Tang Hall area in an inclusive community gig.