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Wellington e-scooter trial would come with restrictions

Wellington could start an electric scooter trial by next month, but they would be restricted from use on the city’s Golden Mile or Botanic Gardens.

Photo: RNZ / Colin Peacock

Wellington could start an electric scooter trial by 11 March, but they would be restricted from use on the city’s Golden Mile or Botanic Gardens.

A report will be presented to the Wellington City Council’s city strategy committee next week, recommending the start of a trial which could last up to 18 months.

It states that six companies have requested to operate an e-scooter share scheme in the city, and suggests sanctioning no more than two of the companies to begin a trial.

The report, entitled ‘Proposed Evaluation of Public Electric Scooter Share Schemes in Wellington City’, recommends having between 600 and 800 scooters at the start of the trial.

But users would be heavily restricted in where they could ride.

The Botanic Gardens would be out of bounds, as would popular shopping streets such as Lambton Quay, Willis Street, Manners Street, Courtenay Place and the Cuba Street Mall.

It suggests the main area of use for the scooters would be the Wellington waterfront.

The recommendations also suggest agreeing a ban on e-scooter hire in the Courtenay precinct from 9pm, Friday to Sunday, and on public holidays.

Operators would also have to fork out up to $10,000 to help fund a public safety awareness campaign, in partnership with the council.

On the matter of health and safety, speed limits are mentioned. The report states that some e-scooters can have their speed limited, and said a 10km/h speed limit on the Wellington waterfront would be enforced.

The report gives an indicative timeframe for rolling out a trial, suggesting inviting operator applications between 21 and 26 February.

It states the e-scooter share schemes could begin on 11 March.

RNZ / Ben Strang