Councillor Matt Dormer, the Leader of Redditch Conservatives, has welcomed a milestone in the town’s use of e-scooters as data reveals over 50,000km have been covered by riders since October 2020.

Redditch was the first UK town to appoint Bird as their supplier for the micro-mobility service, which is designed to help people plug gaps in their travel plans that they would otherwise turn to a car for.

So far, over 17,540 rides have taken place, with an average of 2.9km being covered per ride. The Department of Transport recently announced that e-scooter trials will continue to run until 2022. Redditch Borough Council recently allowed Bird to extend their operations to cover most of the town, reaching as far as Church Hill and Winyates in the east and Webheath in the west.

Welcoming the news, Matt Dormer said:

“E-Scooters help people to choose how they move as part of our Active Travel agenda. Adding E-Scooters to the mix allows people to think twice before they need to jump in a car, which can help to reduce our CO2 emissions.”

The scheme doesn’t cost the local council taxpayers anything to run as it is all commercially driven. Private E-Scooters remain illegal for use on British roads and pavements.

Responding to concerns about rider behaviour Matt said:

“Just as with cars and cycles, there’s always going to be a small minority that choose to misbehave, and there’s clearly some who think it’s OK to go out and buy a private E-Scooter. If you do that the chances are your purchase is going to be seized by the police – so just stick with the Bird system; it works, it’s safe and it’s affordable.”

Bird has issued bans for riders in the Redditch area for bad parking and where they have found riders to be under-age. Bird also operates a warning system. In all, it has only been necessary to issue punishments for 33 riders in total.

Speaking on the way riders leave their E-Scooters when finished Matt added:

“The whole point of the service is to be able to get hold of a scooter quickly and easily. Research shows people will generally only walk for 5 minutes or so to hook up with a public transport option, so it’s important that services are available nearby when people want them. The whole point of being able to leave E-Scooters in the street is to provide maximum flexibility. That said, people do need to ensure they don’t block the pavement and in the vast majority of cases this is not a problem.”

If any residents have any concerns about the Bird E-Scooters or want to report one being parked badly they can email the details, providing the date, time and approximate location.