The recently extended rental electric scooter scheme in Newcastle run by Neuron Mobility has now been in operation for two full years – with riders having just surpassed a million miles travelled.
Singapore firm Neuron has run the government-approved rental trial scheme in the city since it launched in February 2021. It has been extended on several occasions, with the council agreeing last December to extend it until May 2024.
As well as riders having completed a combined total of a million miles on the bright orange scooters, a recent study by Neuron found that e-scooter riders spent around £8.9 million a year in the city, with 97 per cent of users thought it had created a positive impact.
While the rental e-scooter trial schemes were due to conclude at the end of November, but the government allowed recently them to be extended until May 2024 – although it left the final decision to local authorities. Newcastle City Council has now approved that extension.
Under the new agreement, Neuron will implement a new parking system for the dockless machines. Riders whose trip ends in the city centre and Jesmond will now be required to park their e-scooters in one of around 100 designated parking stations.
The new parking system is designed to cut down on machines being left in places that hamper pedestrians, and was developed in consultation with the partially sighted community, the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) and the Thomas Pocklington Trust charities.
Neuron will also introduce new Concession Passes, which will offer discounts of up to 50 per cent for low-income riders and those enrolled in certain government support programmes.
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Citing research that found seven out of 10 e-scooter trips in Newcastle result in a purchase at a local business Neuron’s UK boss Cormac Quinn, said: “We are really encouraged that our riders – plus an increasing number of local businesses and venues – are recognising some of the benefits rental e-scooters are bringing to the city.”
Councillor Jane Byrne, Newcastle City Council’s Cabinet Member for Connected Clean City, added: “It’s great to see that many people are benefiting from the opportunity to use the e-scooters as a convenient way to get around – and importantly as an alternative to making a journey by car.
“I’m pleased that we’ve been able to work together with Neuron so that residents, including those on lower incomes, can continue to use the e-scooters while also putting in place arrangements to help improve the way the scooters are integrated into the city’s transport mix.”
The nearby city of Sunderland has also previously featured a Neuron Mobility-run trial scheme, although the council there has appointed Zwings to take over the service.