WOKINGHAM is not planning to join in any trials of eScooters as the council is not convinced that the eco-friendly machines will replace car journeys.
Cllr Pauline Jorgensen, the executive member for highways and transport, made the declaration in answer to a question posed by member of the public Ed Pearson at a virtual meeting of Wokingham Borough Council, held on Thursday, July 23.
He wanted to know if the borough was planning on taking part in the mooted electric scooter trials proposed by the Department of Transport.
“This is an affordable, socially distanced and environmentally-friendly form of transport, and taking part in these trials would see Wokingham leading the way on commitments to fighting climate change,” he said.
But Cllr Jorgensen warned: “There are some safety concerns and issues such as difficulty in indicating – they are very unstable if ridden one-handed – and their small wheels are susceptible to surface defects and debris. In addition, in a town centre setting and on shared paths they may be seen as a nuisance by many and we did not feel it appropriate to encourage their use at this time.”
She added: “With regard to the climate change agenda; we have the My Journey Team who have completed some excellent work in promoting sustainable travel and in teaching adults and children to cycle and use human-powered scooters safely.
“We are also delivering infrastructure for sustainable travel including our park and ride sites, greenways and we are currently completing the next phase of the A329 cycleway; our new roads also include provision for cycling.
“There is little evidence that scooter journeys will replace car journeys and shifting people from cycling and walking to scooters will therefore have negligible impact on our climate emergency objectives.
“However, we will continue to monitor it.”