Glasgow residents could rapidly cut down their commute time if they opt to use e-bikes or e-scooters, according to research published this week.
A new study from mobility specialist, INRIX, shows that people using electric bikes or scooters could complete their journeys faster than – or equally fast as – regular vehicles.
The research ranked the top-five UK cities where alternative transport methods such as these have the most potential to reduce vehicle trips and transport infrastructure congestion. Manchester was identified as the top UK city which could benefit the most from increased use of e-bikes and e-scooters, with Glasgow ranked third behind Birmingham.
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More than two-thirds (67%) of car trips in the UK’s most congested urban areas are less than three miles, INRIX research shows. Travelling at just 11mph, commuters using e-scooters or bikes in Glasgow could be capable of completing a journey quicker than vehicles.
“Given scooters are frequently used for trips between a half-mile and a mile, whereas bike distances are typically between one mile and three miles, if a fraction of short vehicle trips were replaced with scooter and bike trips, cities could reap significant benefits,” the study claimed.
Overall, the research shows the benefits of using alternative methods of transport. As well as efficient and cost-effective journeys, other benefits highlighted by the study include decreased emissions, local economic boosts and, crucially, reduced traffic congestion.
According to data gathered by the firm, UK drivers lose around 178 hours each year due to traffic congestion.
The UK Government is currently exploring how to boost alternative transport methods. However, the uptake of e-scooters, in particular, is dependent on their legalisation. At present, the use of electric scooters on roads and pavements across the UK is banned, and several incidents involving e-scooters have received significant media coverage this year.
In July, Emily Hartridge, a well-known TV presenter and YouTube personality was the first person in the UK to be killed while riding an electric scooter. Hartridge’s death in Battersea, South London, once again raised questions over the safety of electric scooters.
Trevor Reed, transportation analyst at INRIX and author of the report said authorities must consider the legalisation of e-scooters, but insisted that safety assessments for their use on roads must be carried out.
“At present, legislation and public education does not do enough to encourage micromobility,” he said. “The government should review options to legalise e-scooters and assess the current opportunities to increase road safety for all users.”
“Simultaneously, it is essential that the wide-ranging benefits of micromobility and the cost of vandalism are clearly communicated to the public to ensure the technology is used sustainably. We urge authorities to use more data-based decision making to ensure that the smart deployment of these services.”