A YEAR-long e-scooter trial has been announced in York.

City of York Council has announced Europe's leading operator TIER to run the technology on its streets.

The first e-scooters will be deployed at the University of York in a few weeks, offering residents a new, green and Covid-19 safe mode of transport for getting around the city. Discussions are taking place as to whether York Hospital will also be able to host the scheme.

The Department for Transport-approved scheme, will initially see up to 100 e-scooters deployed, with more e-scooters and TIER e-bikes to come. Renting an e-scooter in York will cost riders £1 to unlock the vehicle and 15p per minute travelled.

After a highly competitive tender process involving over 15 other applicants, City of York Council selected TIER as sole operator because of the company’s pioneering approach to safety, ability to ensure orderly parking and its unrivalled sustainability credentials.

TIER scooters come with industry-leading safety features including an integrated helmet, the largest front wheel in the market, a wider foot plate, dual suspension, a double kick-stand and dual drum brakes for stable riding on uneven surfaces and conditions.

TIER, founded in 2018 and already in 70 cities across Europe, was the first e-scooter operator in the world to become climate-neutral and is rolling out swappable batteries across its fleet, removing the need to collect and transport the vehicles to a warehouse for charging.

York will benefit from this leading model. The company is also demonstrating its financial sustainability, becoming profitable in only its second year.

Cllr Andy D’Agorne, Executive Member for Transport at City of York Council, said: “This will provide a fantastic opportunity to explore how e-scooters might add to the mix of sustainable transport options, whilst helping to improve air quality and expand our electrical vehicle charging offer. The trial will also form part of the city’s Covid-19 response in terms of, for example, providing sustainable alternatives to support capacity on public transport across the city.

“We’re excited to approve the trial in York and to be working alongside TIER. Together we will ensure there are clear and effective channels of communication which are critically important to get early warning of any issues that need to be addressed, to assess the impact and to learn all the lessons from the trial.”

TIER UK General Manager Fred Jones said: “York is a very special place, steeped in 2,000 years of history, and we are very proud to be supporting the city as it looks to the future of urban transport.

“We believe that the e-scooter trials will bring major benefits to York residents, from cleaner air to reduced congestion, and crucially they can also help to get people moving again safely post-Covid.”

Sight Loss Councils Engagement Manager Iain Mitchell said: “We are delighted that TIER has approached the Sight Loss Councils to gain a greater understanding of the safety concerns blind and partially sighted people have around e-scooters - namely that they can be difficult to hear and riders of the scooters may not recognise a person has a visual impairment. We welcome York Council choosing an e-scooter operator that is putting blind and partially sighted people's safety at the forefront of its decision-making”.

Professor Kiran Trehan, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Partnership and Engagement at the University of York said: "We are delighted and looking forward to working with our partners, including City of York Council, to help pilot these sustainable transport options which we hope will be widely used by our campus community alongside the residents and visitors of York.

"We have a long standing sustainable transport plan and the introduction of E-scooters will add further impetus."