Today Centre for London and 18 other organisations (the London Micromobility Alliance) have published an open letter calling on the government to support the rollout of micromobility vehicles – e-scooters, e-cargo bikes and e-bikes – across the capital.
While we need to socially distance, public transport capacity will remain under intense pressure. Overlapping this crisis is the climate emergency.
There needs to be a new normal for travel in London: extra capacity and lower carbon ways of getting around. The danger is this comes from private cars. Transport for London estimates that without intervention vehicle numbers could double. That could mean double the congestion, air pollution, emissions and road danger. We cannot let that happen.
We must radically rethink how Londoners can safely and sustainably move around. There are many cities to emulate. In Amsterdam 48 per cent of commuting trips are made by bike. Paris has embraced radical steps to make transport safer and greener, closing roads to cars, building more cycling infrastructure, and welcoming ‘micromobility’ vehicles – e-scooters, e-cargo bikes and e-bikes – onto streets and cycle lanes.
Building on the great progress with walking and cycling in recent months, micromobility vehicles are a low carbon alternative to cars. But they need new policies and new language.
The London Micromobility Alliance wants to advance these mobility options. The government has legalised trials of rental e-scooter schemes, and some cities have already got going. We support TfL and London boroughs working with Whitehall to agree terms for a single trial over as much of London as possible. They should also work together to lay a pathway that sees micromobility vehicles become a central part of how Londoners move around. The government should also state its long term intention to legalise the widespread use of e-scooters, using evidence from the trials to inform regulation.
By making it easier to live without owning a car, or provide services without a van, increasing journeys using cycles, e-bikes, e-scooters and cargo bikes can help create a low carbon, inclusive, healthy, safe and prosperous London.
James Austin, London Director, Sustrans
Matthew Barrie, UK&I Country Manager – Rentals, Bolt
Scott Cain, CEO, Active Things
Diego Canales, Global Partnerships Manager, Populus
Richard Corbett, General Manager, UK & Ireland, Voi
Richard Dilks, CEO, CoMoUK
Haya Douidri, VP EMEA, LINK by Superpedestrian
Collette Dunkley, External Relations Director, Neuron Mobility
Fred Jones, UK General Manager, TIER Mobility
Hirra Khan Adeogun, Head of Car Free Cities, Possible
Peter Kimberley, CEO, Pure Electric
Roy McGowan, Managing Director, Momentum Transport Consultancy
Catriona Meehan, Head of Policy, Communication and Sustainability, Wind
Florence Milner, General Manager, UK & Ireland, Lime
Henri Moissinac, CEO, Dott
Steve Pyer, UK Country Manager, Spin
Andrew Roughan, Managing Director, Plexal
Ashok Sinha, CEO, London Cycling Campaign
Rob Whitehead , Director of Strategic Projects, Centre for London (Secretariat for the London Micromobility Alliance)
Notes to Editors:
- Centre for London is the capital’s dedicated think tank. The Centre develops new solutions to London’s critical challenges and advocates for a fair and prosperous global city.