E-scooters set for Camden as council boss backs rental trial

Lime e-scooters are among those available in other London boroughs at the moment as part of a Transp

Camden is to join the e-scooter trial in London featuring firms like Lime - Credit: PA

Camden Council is set to join the trial of rental e-scooters in London. 

The town hall's environment chief Cllr Adam Harrison is expected to confirm the decision on August 6 - and this would see people able to hire e-scooters in the borough by the end of October. 

The council ran a public consultation on the scheme between June 21 and July 12. 

And now, the council is going ahead with plans to join the trial, which will go on until at least next June in some areas of London.

E-scooters from firms Lime, Dot and Tier are part of the trial.

The trial has been ongoing in other areas since June, with Westminster Council the most recent local authority to join the scheme which is backed by Transport for London (TfL). 

Camden's move comes concerns raised in Hampstead that encouraging e-scooter use could lead to crime or accidents. The town hall thinks it will help encourage active travel and cut car traffic.

In the consultation, representations from the Hampstead Town safer neighbourhood panel and Holy Trinity Church off Haverstock Hill were among those expressing opposition. 

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The Met Police has raised concerns about the wider TfL trial, and said in response to Camden's consultation it had concerns "as we are introducing a relatively new and untested legalised (albeit within the confines of the trial) vulnerable road user [to] the London road and cycle network". 

The Met cited US studies comparing injury rates for e-scooter riders and cyclists, saying "riders have more injuries than cyclists, with cyclists suffering roughly 100 times fewer".

Camden's report says 272 out of 435 people responding to the consultation said they were against the principle of the trial, but the council's officers said: "Public opinion of e-scooters is currently largely based on illegal privately owned vehicles that can in some cases be ridden in a dangerous manner and can potentially be used for criminal activity."

The council says requirements for e-scooter renters to have provisional driver's licences and speed restrictions on the e-scooters themselves are among features which limit this risk.

The e-scooters will have to be left in designated bays – shared with dockless bikes – and will be subject to a 12.5mph speed limit. They will be limited by GPS technology so that in "no-go areas" like the borough's parks their motors will automatically shut out.