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Electric scooter hire service comes to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

PUBLISHED: 09:00 06 November 2018

Chief Reporter Sophie Morton tries out one of the new Bird scooters at Here East in Stratford.

Chief Reporter Sophie Morton tries out one of the new Bird scooters at Here East in Stratford.

Archant

The two-wheeled machines, which have a top speed of around 15 miles per hour, provide a fun and environmentally friendly way to get around the park.

Richard Corbett at the launch of the new Bird scooters at Here East in Stratford.Richard Corbett at the launch of the new Bird scooters at Here East in Stratford.

Launching today (Tuesday) to provide a quicker way to travel between Stratford station and Here East, the Bird scooters are available to hire between 7am and 9pm every day as part of a trial period.

Richard Corbett, the UK head of Bird, said: “I think it’s one of the best, if not the best, places to do a trial like this in the UK.

“It’s large private land, and therefore compliant with UK legislation, and it has a transport and mobility challenge that we were focused on trying to solve.

“The challenge here is that the nearest Tube station is about 30 minutes’ walk away and so those that work here, or study here, find it’s very difficult to get here.”

Chief Reporter Sophie Morton tries out one of the new Bird scooters at Here East in Stratford.Chief Reporter Sophie Morton tries out one of the new Bird scooters at Here East in Stratford.

There will be 50 scooters introduced in the park for three months, but Richard said that he hoped it would become permanent if it was successful.

“We’re doing basically the same thing we did in other cities, we start low and we only scale the number of Birds in a location if we see demand hit a certain critical mass,” he added.

The Bird scooters are not legally allowed to be used on public roads in the UK, so users must stick to the park’s network of footpaths - and for those tempted to stray out of bounds, the scooters are geofenced, meaning they slow down and make a beeping sound to alert users to turn back.

They are easy to hire, with riders scanning a code on the handlebars with a smartphone app to start their journey. At the end, the scooters can be left in a responsible place and the trip marked as completed in the app.

All riders must be aged 18 or over and those who ride in an unsafe or irresponsible manner can be banned from the app. Helmets are also given to those who want one.

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