Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool rolls out rental e-scooter trial

image copyrightTees Valley Combined Authority
image captionBen Houchen and Paul Hodgins both said e-scooters could be a big boost to the region

The first trial of an e-scooter rental scheme in the UK will be held in the North East, a mayor has announced.

One hundred scooters will be available for rent in Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool later in July, Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen said.

They will also be allowed on cycle lanes, for riders over 16 who have at least a provisional driving licence.

The scooters will be provided by Ginger, and riders will have to leave the battery-powered vehicle in certain locations for charging.

Mr Houchen said: "I have been a big fan of e-scooters for a very long time, and when the government announced their plans to fast track their introduction, it was obvious that our region should be the first trial area."

Paul Hodgins, CEO of Ginger, said "I strongly believe micro e-mobility offers unique solutions to today's transport challenges."

Privately owned e-scooters remain illegal on roads and the permitted vehicles will not be allowed on pavements

While supporters praise their eco-friendly credentials, opponents say e-scooters pose a risk to other road users, particularly pedestrians.

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