E-Scooters – Is Your City Ready For Them?

This is something close to my heart. As a Xiaomi M365 owner, I’ve been forced to be clandestine in my approach to use fearing being pulled over. Thankfully the UK Government is waking up to the realisation that E-Scooters and E-vehicles, in general, might be a good thing, but is your city ready for them en masse? This Uswitch report has an index to find out just how E-Scooter ready your area is.

I ride carefully, away from pedestrians, and not at high speed (10-15kmh in some cases), yet due to the fact I’m using electricity rather than kinetic energy to power my vehicle, I could well be punished with a fine, confiscation and even points on my driving license. All that might soon come to an end with the UK Government starting trials of rental e-scooters. We’re sure to see this trial rolled out further with adoption across private use, albeit with a tax in tow no doubt, sooner rather than later. We must ensure our towns and cities are ready to make it safe for all.

This Uswitch report suggests that not all areas are ready, and worse still albeit selfishly, my area might not be! See Below for the report summary from Uswitch.


  • Newcastle is the UK’s most e-scooter friendly city, scoring 50/70 in the e-scootability index
  • Seven out of the top 10 scoring cities are located in the north of England
  • Leeds has the most e-scooter friendly roads with just 3 pothole complaints this year
  • With the poorest air quality in the UK, Wolverhampton could benefit from emission-free e-scooter rental

The E-Scootability Index can be found here: http://uswitch.com/gas-electricity/uk-cities-ready-for-electric-scooters/

Rented e-scooters look set to ride to the rescue as the UK begins to return to work. And according to new research from Uswitch.com, Newcastle is the city most likely to give the green light to this emission-free mode of transport.

Top of The Scoots

Taking a seed list 40 of the UK’s most populous cities, the energy team at Uswitch have analysed the ‘e-scootability’ of each city, based on metrics such as air quality, pothole complaints, bike thefts and planned cycle with a maximum score of 70 available.

Scoring 50 out of 70 available points, Newcastle topped the index, owing to 13km of planned cycle lanes and 8,306 potential commuters who could benefit from the rental scheme.

The North is home to the most e-scootable cities. Seven out of the top 10 are located in the north of England; Newcastle, Carlisle, Hull, Salford, Preston, Manchester and Sunderland all score high on the e-scootability index.

The air quality rankings saw Preston and Carlisle top the list which would make for a pleasant e-scooter commute. Cities scoring low on this metric such as Wolverhampton and Wakefield could also benefit from the emission-free advantages that e-scooter bring.

The study also scored each city based on the number of pothole complaints made via FixMyStreet. Leeds had the smoothest roads for scootering, followed by Exeter and Cambridge.

To understand the potential uptake of e-scooters, the team at Uswitch.com scored each city based on the commuters already using two wheels to get to work. Cambridge topped the list with 15.34% of the population already cycling, followed by Westminster (12.42%), Oxford (8.75%) and York (5.29%).

Uswitch E-Scootability Results – What Do They Mean?

Will Owen, Energy Expert from Uswitch, comments on the results of the e-scootability index:

“Cities all over the UK have been working hard to stop the spread of COVID-19 and with lockdown finally easing, we’re seeing a welcome push towards climate-friendly transport options such as e-scooters.”

“Later this year, the UK will join several European countries including Spain, France and Italy following the release of the DfT’s e-scooter rental framework. 50 city councils have already applied to be part of the trial.”

“But the research behind the e-scootability index revealed that some cities were more ‘geared’ up for their arrival than others, with cities in the north making up 70% of the top 10 list. ”

“Rental e-scooters will be banned from footpaths to protect pedestrians so road safety is another factor that needs to be considered. Alongside the obvious environmental benefits of e-scooter rental schemes, there are many other factors for regulators to consider”

Tell us how you feel about E-Scooters in general and whether you’re looking forward to wide-spread adoption, or looking out for reckless riders, in the comments below.

About Craig Bradshaw

Tech enthusiast and Editor-in-Chief of MobileTechTalk

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