As covered in many of our previous articles, Britain is fast becoming the home of the hire market, with innovative rental startups constantly choosing Great Britain to be the base for their businesses. Just this week, American scooter hire firm, Bird, revealed details of their latest venture. The company announced that they had launched a limited service within London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Venturing into the UK
While already operating in France, Israel, Belgium, Austria and the US, the company has already hit a few bumps in the roads of the UK.
According to sources, the scooters are not permitted to be used on footpaths as they are classed as powered vehicles. Powered by a battery, the vehicle is capable of 25km/h. However, they are not permitted to be used on public roads either. This is due to the fact that they are not capable of passing a UK MOT test.
This restriction is due to the fact that the UK is “the most highly regulated and restrictive market for this kind of product, globally”, according to Bird’s UK head Richard Corbett.
Scooters can be hired through Bird’s all-singing, all-dancing app; rentable for £1 plus £20 per minute.
“This is the first step on the journey to change UK regulations,” Corbett continues.
“And this is why today is actually quite a key milestone in British transport history: this is the first time we have seen a UK e-scooter trial, and we’re really proud to be the first to do that, to help push the boundaries.
“The first step is a pilot on private land, to be compliant and within legality, but over time we would like to work with [the Department for Transport] and o the regulators to work out a policy framework” that would allow e-scooters on UK roads.
Let us know what you think, will Bird be able to fully rolled out this service in the UK or will the regulatory obstacles keep on coming?