Video: E-scooters have launched in York! Here’s how to hire one – and one rider’s verdict

Easy rider… The Tier e-scooters launched this month. Photograph: David Dunning
20 Oct 2020 @ 5.48 pm
| Transport

They’re clean, they’re green – and you’ll be seeing a lot of them in the coming weeks.

York’s new electric scooters launched today (Tuesday) – and we’ve taken them for a spin.

Brought here by operator Tier, the rental scheme will initially see 50 e-scooters deployed in the city, with the potential to gradually increase to up to 700 after six months.

Renting an e-scooter in York will cost riders £1 to unlock the vehicle and 15p per minute travelled, all done through a smartphone app.

People can pick up the e-scooters at the University of York campus and ride them along a number of cycle and road routes. A map shows where they can go and new routes will be added, but if you go down roads not included in the scheme then the scooters will slow down to walking pace.

They come with an integrated helmet, large wheels, a wide footplate, suspension and dual drum brakes.

The scooters are also fitted with number plates, including unique IDs. This will ensure all rides can easily be tracked by CCTV and the police to ensure that the service is enjoyed safely and responsibly.

You are only allowed to park them in designated bays across the city, which will be marked clearly on the road and in the Tier app. 

Discussions are also taking place with York Hospital, which could see the scheme operating from there in the coming weeks. 

Ready to learn lessons

The e-scooters on Piccadilly. Photograph: Richard McDougall

City of York Council selected Tier as the operator. Council transport lead Cllr Andy D’Agorne said: “This will provide a fantastic opportunity to explore how e-scooters might add to the mix of sustainable transport options, whilst helping to improve air quality and expand our electrical vehicle charging offer. 

“Together we will ensure there are clear and effective channels of communication which are critically important to get early warning of any issues that need to be addressed, to assess the impact and to learn all the lessons from the trial.”

Tier UK general manager Fred Jones said: “Our e-scooters can bring great benefits to the city, including reducing air pollution and congestion. We look forward to rolling out more e-scooters in coming months.”

Five stars

We asked Matt Freckelton, who has ridden e-scooters in Europe before, to give the York e-scooters a spin (see the video).

His verdict? “It’s five stars out of five from me.

“It’s a solid piece of engineering, it feels safe, it feels comfortable, you’ve got a helmet.

“When we’re trying to help the environment, it’s battery powered so it’s not emitting any carbon emissions.

“It’s fun as well – a great way to see the city from a completely different perspective.”