E-Scooters Could Finally Be Legalised in NSW with Sydney's First Trial Kicking Off in Kogarah
Sydney's first official e-scooter trial is currently underway, with 60 Beam scooters being introduced to south Sydney.
February 02, 2024
If you're a seasoned traveller, you've almost certainly run into an e-scooter. The speedy, convenient transportation option has overtaken streets in the US, Europe and, closer to home, in Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra. Here in Sydney, however, the electric scooter sightings are few and far between. The reason? Under current NSW road rules, electric scooters are prohibited — but that could be about to change.
The NSW Government has slowly been trialling the use of e-scooters since December 2022 when they were rolled out in Lake Macquarie. Now Sydney has now received its first test location. As of Wednesday, January 10, a small section of Kogarah has been permitted to host a fleet of the two-wheelers to see how they fare.
This inaugural Sydney trial has seen 60 Beam e-scooters be introduced across a small section of south Sydney. The map for the trail shows that the scooters are permitted in a few blocks on the eastern side of the train station, as well as Railway Parade stretching up past Carlton Station and Allawah Station. The trial area includes the town centre, St George Hospital and Jubilee Stadium, meaning sports fans will be able to catch the train to Kogarah Station and zip over to a game, saving themselves the 20-minute walk.
"E-scooters are the way of the future," said Georges River Council Mayor Sam Elmir at the launch of the program. "We look forward to the benefits it will bring to our local residents, our local economy and our local town centre."
There are a few stipulations. Right now, only the designated Beam scooters are permitted to be used in the trial; all privately owned electric scooters are still illegal in the area. Riders must also be 16 years or older, they must wear a helmet, and can only ride on roads, bike lanes and shared footpaths. The scooters will be limited to 10 kilometres per hour on shared paths, or 20 kilometres per hour on the road.
Trialling e-scooters in NSW has been in the works for years, but all previous trials have been shot down. This includes the 2021 proposal that was eventually scrapped by the Berejiklian government.
At the time, the proposal was heavily opposed by NSW Minister for Transport and Roads, Andrew Constance, who expressed his concerns to parliament: "People getting killed, e-scooters being left up trees, e-scooters littering parks and footpaths, people falling over them. I can send you a bunch of pictures if you want."
The trials are currently underway in Lake Macquarie, Wollongong, Forster-Tuncurry, Albury and Kogarah.
Watch this space for updates.
For more information on e-scooter trials in NSW, head to the Transport for NSW website.
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