SCOTLAND’S first e-scooter trial is set to move a step closer next week when Glasgow councillors are asked to give their approval.

The City Administration Committee could back a trial, subject to law changes being agreed by Transport Scotland.

A procurement exercise would also need to be carried out to find an operator for the trial.

Approval is still required from the Department for Transport and Transport Scotland.

Glasgow City Council has set out some principles, which would be required for any trial in the city.

These include a speed limit of 10mph in the city centre area, a carbon neutral operation, including the use of e-bikes or e-vans for charging and maintenance, and designated pick-up/drop-off points.

The council would also require a restricted initial area of operation, which should “include significant journey generators outside the city centre”, such as the Emirates Arena and Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.

Any operator would need to employ a local workforce, with no zero-hours contracts, full employment rights and the prioritisation of people with difficulty accessing the labour market.

Councillor Anna Richardson, city convener for sustainability and carbon reduction, said: “This development has not previously been possible in the UK due to these vehicles being illegal for use on any public infrastructure.

“In the wake of the Covid-19 crisis, however, and in particular with regard to the limitations on public transport, there has been a change in the focus on the use of these vehicles.

“They are now regarded as a means of short distance commuting.”

She added: “E-scooters can be used for low-carbon, socially-distanced journeys as a substitute for public transport and, more crucially, car use.”

In Scotland, additional legislation is needed to allow a trial to take place, including an amendment to the Roads (Scotland) Act 1984 to allow e-scooters to be used on cycle tracks.

Nine operators have been contacted by the council to understand how a trial could work, exploring various operating materials, scooter types, features and liabilities.

Scooter users would also need to be at least 18 and hold a provisional driving licence.

The council acknowledges the increase in “street and pavement clutter” is “particularly problematic, if not hazardous” for citizens with visual impairments and mobility restrictions.

It says these risks would be a focus during any trial and would need to be mitigated.

A “particular attraction” for the council is the ability to automatically control where vehicles are used as all scooters are monitored through GPS.

“There are a number of benefits from this, including the ability to set geographical boundaries on the extent of usage, beyond which the scooter becomes inoperable,” a report by Ms Richardson adds.

The council will continue to work with Transport Scotland, the Department for Transport and stakeholders “with a view to the necessary legislative changes required to allow e-scooters to operate within cycling infrastructure”.

Once these have been approved and the procurement exercise is complete, a further report will be presented to the committee.