Bird Trials in UK Extended to 2022 as Local Demand Continues to Climb

Bird shared e-scooters will continue to help meet the sustainable transportation needs of riders in the UK into 2022.

That was the decision reached by local councils in both the city of Canterbury and the town of Redditch, where more than one in ten eligible local riders have traveled on Bird scooters since the respective micromobility programs were launched in late 2020. 

“Electric scooters offer the potential for clean and inexpensive travel that can also help ease the burden on transport networks,” Kent County Council’s cabinet member for highways and transport David Brazier told the BBC earlier this month. 

The extensions in Canterbury and Reddtich, which will see scooter service continued until at least late March, 2022 (the longest possible extension currently permitted), come after both trials saw significant ridership growth and service expansions throughout 2021. 

In January and again in May, the Redditch scooter service zone grew to include important areas like the Alexandra Hospital and Arrow Valley Park. “This further expansion is really exciting for people living in the east and south west of the town,” Councilor Matthew Dormer said in response to the growth. “Bird is helping us all to think twice before jumping in our cars, which is helping to reduce congestion and improve the air quality for everyone in Redditch.” 

In Canterbury, a series of similar spring and summer expansions saw Bird’s service area grow from the university to the city center to peripheral areas including Thanington, Hales Place and Wincheap.

Along the way, we’ve introduced a growing list of safety and community initiatives to improve service and ensure micromobility is working for all riders in Redditch and Canterbury. These include Bird’s Helmet Selfie feature, our enhanced global ID scan to prevent underage riding and free rides campaigns for teachers and those traveling to and from COVID testing centers.

We’ve also participated in a growing number of community-focused initiatives including an innovative partnership with safety app Busby to immediately alert emergency contacts in case of an accident, as well as a Bird for Business partnership with Halfords in Redditch offering free rides to employees.

“E-scooters have the potential to play a significant role in cleaner and greener commuting, while also easing the burden on public transport,” Halfords CEO Graham Stapleton said in October. “As one of the largest employers in Redditch, I am delighted that our own colleagues will now have the option to travel to work in an environmentally friendly way, through this new partnership.”

To learn more about Bird’s growing service in the UK and our efforts to lead micromobility safety education in Ireland in advance of the country’s first upcoming pilot programs, subscribe to the Bird Cities Blog.

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