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Scooter stories: User and non-user experiences of a shared E-Scooter trial

Speak, Anna; Taratula-Lyons, Monique; Clayton, William; Shergold, Ian

Scooter stories: User and non-user experiences of a shared E-Scooter trial Thumbnail


Anna Speak

Monique Taratula-Lyons

Ian Shergold
TSU Senior Research Fellow in Rural Mobility TIMESHEETS NOM


E-scooters are the fastest-growing form of micro-mobility, riding a wave of popularity in recent years; in may cities, they have sparked something akin to an urban personal mobility revolution. Despite their popularity, e-scooters raise several challenges for policymakers and transport providers, and are a divisive mode on the streets. Reports of conflict and tension around e-scooters' safety are common. In addition, there are questions about what mode trips e-scooters are substituting. However, to date there remain few academic studies into user and non-user experiences. This study focused on a UK e-scooter trial, using a mixed methods approach to collect data from 222 participants. The focus of this paper's analysis is on participants' qualitative "scooter stories", supported by quantitative data that provides broader insight into the scooters' use and demographic patterns.

We find that on the positive side, e-scooters are useful, affordable, enjoyable and flexible; they provide a viable alternative to some urban car trips and can be linked to active travel. However, whist scooters are sometimes replacing car trips, they are more often substituting walking or cycling, a challenging finding from a health and sustainability perspective. E-scooters exacerbate conflicts between users of urban space: we explore legality, safety of riders and non-riders, impacts on pavement and road space, intoxicated riding, and more. We present our findings in the context of sustainable urban mobility policy, making recommendations for policymakers and other stakeholders seeking to mitigate the impacts of e-scooters, and harness the sustainable mobility benefits of this popular new mode.


Speak, A., Taratula-Lyons, M., Clayton, W., & Shergold, I. (2023). Scooter stories: User and non-user experiences of a shared E-Scooter trial. Active Travel Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 3(1),

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 6, 2022
Online Publication Date Jan 30, 2023
Publication Date Jan 30, 2023
Deposit Date Feb 6, 2023
Publicly Available Date Feb 6, 2023
Journal Active Travel Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Print ISSN 2732-4184
Electronic ISSN 2732-4184
Publisher University of Westminster Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 3
Issue 1
Series Title Special Issue: Electric Micromobility Futures; Active Travel Studies
Keywords e-scooters, mobility, perceptions, safety, conflict, sustainability
Public URL
Publisher URL


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