Zipp Mobility e-scootersImage source, Zipp Mobility

Image caption,

The Taunton e-scooter trial began in October 2020

Two councils are considering whether to extend electric scooter trials in three towns in Somerset.

Somerset West and Taunton Council and South Somerset Council were selected to be part of a national trial of e-scooters.

The vehicles were first rolled out in Taunton in October 2020, followed by Minehead in June 2021, as part of an agreement with Zipp Mobility.

The trials were due to end in November but could be extended until 2024.

The government is considering whether e-scooters should be legalised across the UK.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service had said the trial was due to end in November but Somerset West and Taunton Council has since confirmed it is considering an extension.

It needs to make a decision by 22 October.

Zipp e-scooters being used in the trials have been limited to 15mph (24kmph), though other models available commercially can exceed 30mph (48kmph).

Councillor Dixie Darch, the council’s portfolio holder for climate change, said it was possible an extension could be agreed.

‘No decision made’

She stated in her written report: “Current regulations for rental e-scooters still apply, and private e-scooters remain illegal to use on public roads.

“Trials will continue to run until 30 November.

“No decision has been made about what will happen to trials after that date.”

Somerset West and Taunton is one of 31 local authorities across the UK where e-scooter trials are being carried out – and one of three in Somerset, the others being in Bath and Yeovil.

The Yeovil scheme is a partnership between South Somerset District Council and another e-scooter operator Zwings.

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