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E-scooter experiences: Conflicts and opportunities in urban space

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


Monique Taratula-Lyons

Anna Speak


E-scooters are the fastest-growing form of micro-mobility. E-scooters have seen a wave of popularity in recent years; in many 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, as well as being a divisive mode on the streets. Reports of conflict and tension around e-scooters' safety for both riders and other road/path users are common. Additionally, there are questions over 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 in the West of England Combined Authority (WECA). The mixed methods approach collected data from 222 participants, and the primary focus of this paper’s analysis is on participants’ qualitative “scooter stories”: first-hand accounts of being a user or non-user of the public scooter scheme. Alongside analysis of the scooter stories, quantitative data provides broader insight into the scooters’ use and demographic patterns.
Our findings show that on the positive side, e-scooters are a useful, affordable, enjoyable, and flexible form of personal mobility. E-scooters provide a viable alternative to some urban car trips and can be linked to active travel (albeit not strictly being an “active” mode themselves). However, whilst scooters are sometimes replacing car trips, they are more often substituting for walking or cycling trips, a challenging finding from a health and sustainability perspective. E-scooters cause regular conflict 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.


Taratula-Lyons, M., Speak, A., Clayton, W., & Shergold, I. (2022, July). E-scooter experiences: Conflicts and opportunities in urban space. Paper presented at Universities' Transport Study Group Conference 2022, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

Presentation Conference Type Conference Paper (unpublished)
Conference Name Universities' Transport Study Group Conference 2022
Conference Location Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
Start Date Jul 4, 2022
End Date Jul 6, 2022
Deposit Date Feb 6, 2023
Publicly Available Date Feb 14, 2023
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