Lake Macquarie will be the first council area in the state to welcome shared e-scooters, with a 12-month trial along selected routes to begin from Monday December 5.
Minister for Active Transport Rob Stokes said the NSW Government has worked closely with Lake Macquarie’s economic development company Dantia and e-scooter provider Beam to ensure the trial will benefit their community and put safety first.
“E-scooters offer an exciting new mode of mobility, but we’re making haste slowly to learn how we can safely integrate them onto our roads and shared paths,” Mr Stokes said.
“Trials like this one in Lake Macquarie are incredibly important in learning how we can achieve that. Riders will be permitted to travel along selected shared paths while wearing a helmet and keeping within the speed limits.
“E-scooters will not be permitted on the road or footpath in Lake Macquarie and importantly, Beam e-scooters are fitted with technology that ‘geo-fences’ the device to only be able to operate within the trial routes.”
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Member for Lake Macquarie Greg Piper said the trial offered residents and visitors the opportunity to enjoy e-scooters safely.
“As technology changes we need to change with it, and this trial will allow people to test a new way of moving around safely while taking in the beautiful Lake Macquarie region,” Mr Piper said.
The trial will limit shared scheme e-scooters to riders 16 years old and over and a speed limit of maximum of 10km/h will be in place. Use of privately owned e-scooters remains prohibited.
Lake Macquarie Mayor Kay Fraser welcomed the new mode of transport to Lake Macquarie.
“We welcome the activation of this trial and thank the Minister for supporting Lake Macquarie as the first local government area in NSW to deploy e-scooters on the back of an already successful e-bike deployment early in the year,” Ms Kay said.
“It is important to provide accessible and shared modes of transport that not only reduce congestion on our roads but also support our growing community.”
Dantia CEO Joshua Sattler said Dantia has worked closely with Transport for NSW to get the trial running.
“The further implementation of first and last-mile transport as a service in Lake Macquarie will generate economic value for our small business community and re-connect our community and guests to experience our city in new ways,” Mr Sattler said.
E-scooters will be available for use on four tracks only in Lake Macquarie, the Fernleigh Track, the Croudace Bay foreshore, the Warners Bay foreshore and up to Glendale, and the Toronto foreshore to Fassifern train station. They must not be used on roads.
A three-month trial of shared e-scooters at Western Sydney Parklands and the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan saw 4000 trips recorded with no safety incidents.