The electric scooter trial scheme in Birmingham will cease at the end of February, says operator Voi. 

The surprise announcement follows in the wake of recent casualties, including a fatality, involving electric scooters.

Public safety concerns over the use of electric scooters has added pressure to city bosses to reconsider the scheme as the current operator’s contract comes to a sudden end.

The most recent electric scooter accident involved a teenager who is currently fighting for his life after a collision in Balsall Heath on 20 February.

The electric scooter scheme was launched by Birmingham City Council and Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands in 2020.

However, within days of the launch there were recorded incidents of violations and rule breaking by users of the service such as riding without helmets, more than one driver on a scooter, underage drivers, dangerous joy riding on roads and pavements, antisocial behaviour and criminality, and cluttering of public pavements and walkways by discarded scooters which are often dumped recklessly.

Public safety campaigners also argue that the dangerous misuse of electric scooters places extra burden on the workload of police officers and local councillors who get diverted from more pressing matters when reports regarding electric scooters are filed.

Voi, the Swedish operator of trial scheme, confirmed that the contract will end at the end of February and the company’s electric scooters collected off city streets in the coming weeks.

A spokesperson for Voi, said: “Our contract to run the e-scooter trial for West Midlands Combined Authority is due to expire next week.

“Over the coming weeks we will be removing our scooters and parking racks from the city. We are contacting our riders directly about arrangements for any outstanding rides and passes.

“We are very sad to be discontinuing our operations in Birmingham.”

The contract between Transport for West Midlands and Voi will come to an end as new bids are considered to continue the electric scooter scheme.

A spokesperson for Transport for West Midlands, said: “It was hoped there would be a seamless transition to a new contract but owing to delays procuring the contract while awaiting clarity over national e-scooter legislation, that has not been possible.

“We know this will be hugely inconvenient for the many existing e-scooter rental customers. However, people are reminded it remains illegal to ride a private e-scooter on public roads and in public places.”

The electric scooter trial scheme has come under public scrutiny across the country as accidents spiral and skyrocket. Official figures show that there were around 1,437 electric scooter accidents which resulted in casualties in the year ending June 2022 while in 2021 the figure was 1,033.

Tragically, the official figures for the number of people killed  in electric scooter accidents has shockingly tripled.

There were calls for a “complete ban” of electric scooters in Birmingham after the tragic death of 12-year-old Mustafa Nadeem in Bordesley Green last December.

Councillor Shafique Shah calls for electronic scooter ban after death of 12-year-old MustafaBCC
Deputy Lord Mayor Shafique Shah called for an electronic scooter ban after the tragic death of 12-year-old Mustafa Nadeem

Deputy Lord Mayor Shafique Shah demanded an end to the electronic scooter scheme which has already been banned in neighbouring Sandwell and in Coventry.

Cllr Shah, who represents the Heartlands ward, was deeply saddened and shocked by the appalling accident which took place in his ward and he called for a ban: “There is no good reason for continuing to operate the (WMCA) e-scooter scheme locally now.

“A little boy has lost his life. People are in despair.

“We need a complete ban now.”

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