City of York Council

Equalities Impact Assessment




Who is submitting the proposal?




Economy and Place

Service Area:


Smart Transport

Name of the proposal :


E-scooter and E-bike trial

Lead officer:


Dave Atkinson

Date assessment completed:



Names of those who contributed to the assessment :


  Job title


Area of expertise

Lucy Atkinson

Sustainability Project Manager

City of York Council

E-scooter and E-bike trial Project Manager

Jessica Hall

York City Manager


E-scooter and E-bike City Manager





Step 1 – Aims and intended outcomes 




What is the purpose of the proposal?

Please explain your proposal in Plain English avoiding acronyms and jargon.


The e-scooter and e-bike (micro-mobility) trial provides e-scooters and e-bikes for short-term hire in York.


The main objectives are to:

-      Deliver a sustainable travel alternative to residents and visitors to York by providing access to shared e-scooters and e-bikes;

-      Support reopening of the city centre and reduce the need for car travel;

-      Support reduced capacity of buses due to COVID-19 measures;

-      Support reopening of York’s universities and colleges.




Are there any external considerations? (Legislation/government directive/codes of practice etc.)


The York trial of e-scooters and e-bikes is part of a national trail led by the Department for Transport (DfT). The trials are initially for a 12 month period, with the DfT proposing a further extension until the 31st May 2024.



Who are the stakeholders and what are their interests?



The City of York Council have partnered with the University of York and York Hospital as part of the trial.


University of York and York St John’s University – interest in supporting student and staff travel

York’s colleges (as trial expands to these areas)

York Hospital – supporting staff and patient travel

City of York Council – supporting sustainable travel options around the city

Thomas Pocklington Trust, My Sight York, Wilberforce Trust – ensuring safety for the visually impaired community

York Disability Rights Forum – ensuring equal access and safety for those with disabilities who live or work in York. 

North Yorkshire Police – ensuring safety for users and non-users of the e-scooter service




What results/outcomes do we want to achieve and for whom?  This section should explain what outcomes you want to achieve for service users, staff and/or the wider community. Demonstrate how the proposal links to the Council Plan (2019- 2023) and other corporate strategies and plans.



The e-scooter and e-bike trial aims to support a ‘green’ restart of local travel and to help mitigate the impact of reduced public transport capacity from COVID, as outlined by the Department for Transport.  The multi-mobility proposal for e-scooters and e-bikes contribute to support COVID response and contribute to the City of York’s local objectives, including;

  • the council’s ambition to create a people-focused city centre;
  • the council’s commitment to be carbon neutral by 2030;
  • the council’s history of delivery and ambition for sustainable travel, including provision of on-demand and shared transport;
  • the council’s plans for addressing air quality, including through modal shift;
  • the introduction of the UK’s first voluntary clean air zone in January 2020, initially targeting buses that frequently pass through the city;
  • the adoption of the council’s Public EV Charging Strategy in March 2020 to expand EV charging infrastructure;
  • the council’s ambition to be a leader in intelligent transport systems (STEP), connected and autonomous mobility and future mobility;
  • COVID-19 response and providing safe sustainable alternatives to support public transport.


For York in the short-term, e-scooters and e-bikes support sustainable transport measures as the city centre, businesses and the universities re-open following COVID restrictions. Adherence to social distancing has led to reduced bus capacity, with usage also low. Car use is being promoted as a safe form of travel, alongside active travel (walking and cycling). Shared e-scooters and e-bikes provide an alternative option to car use into and around the city centre, supporting commuter travel.

The e-scooter and e-bike contributes to the Council Plan objectives of ‘getting around sustainably’ and ‘a greener and cleaner city’ through provision of a sustainable, shared transport option for visitors and residents. TIER who are providing the service in York are also a climate-neutral e-scooter operator.






Step 2 – Gathering the information and feedback 



What sources of data, evidence and consultation feedback do we have to help us understand the impact of the proposal on equality rights and human rights? Please consider a range of sources, including: consultation exercises, surveys, feedback from staff, stakeholders, participants, research reports, the views of equality groups, as well your own experience of working in this area etc.

 Source of data/supporting evidence

Reason for using



TIER have engaged at a local and national level with organisations representing the visually impaired, and share discussion outputs with CYC where relevant.

TIER will be undertaking a survey of their users about the service in York.

National organisations for the visually impaired community


Report and recommendations from the RNIB on mitigations for design of e-scooter trials. Continued engagement between TIER and local organisations for the visually impaired community through the trial.

Department for Transport survey (future)


The Department for Transport have commissioned their own research to evaluate the impact of the trials on a national scale. This includes feedback from both users and non-users.


Step 3 – Gaps in data and knowledge




What are the main gaps in information and understanding of the impact of your proposal?  Please indicate how any gaps will be dealt with.

Gaps in data or knowledge

Action to deal with this

Understanding how e-scooters and e-bikes will be used in York and areas of high/low demand.

TIER are tracking usage as part of the trial and have identified areas of high demand within the current trial area. TIER will continue to track this data to identify patterns of usage. This will also aid understanding of how people move around the city and help to support areas underserved by existing public transport.

Impact of trial on wider disability groups (both positive and negative).


Continued engagement is required by TIER and CYC and local and national organisations that represent wider disability groups (not just the visually impaired community).



Step 4 – Analysing the impacts or effects.



Please consider what the evidence tells you about the likely impact (positive or negative) on people sharing a protected characteristic, i.e. how significant could the impacts be if we did not make any adjustments? Remember the duty is also positive – so please identify where the proposal offers opportunities to promote equality and/or foster good relations.

Equality Groups


Human Rights.

Key Findings/Impacts

Positive (+)

Negative (-)

Neutral (0) 

High (H) Medium (M) Low (L)


E-scooters are only be able to be ridden by those who hold a valid provisional driving licence, in line with government regulation. TIER who are running the scheme in York, also require all users to be over the age of 18, therefore only those over this age would be able to ride an e-scooter. This is in line with other shared schemes such as the London cycle hire scheme.

E-bikes are able to be ridden by those aged 16 and over and do not require a driving licence to ride.

Setting an age limit for e-scooter and e-bike use ensures the government regulation is adhered to and maintains the safety of users and non-users.





E-scooters may have mixed impacts for those with disabilities. The e-scooter and e-bike shared service may have negative impacts, especially for the visually impaired community.

There may be positive impacts for those unable to walk long distances but who are still able to ride a bike, or stand on an e-scooter.

Further evidence of impacts and mitigation of these is outlined in 5.1.

Negative and Positive




No impacts identified



Gender Reassignment

No impacts identified



Marriage and civil partnership

No impacts identified




and maternity

No impacts identified




No impacts identified




and belief

No impacts identified





No impacts identified



Other Socio-economic groups including :

Could other socio-economic groups be affected e.g. carers, ex-offenders, low incomes?



No impacts identified



Low income


The shared e-scooter and e-bike scheme may provide greater access to on-demand transport across the city for those without access to a car or where are poorly served by bus routes.

The pay-as-you-go use of the e-scooters and e-bikes may enable low-income groups to use, though the cost may also be prohibitive. TIER offer daily, weekly and monthly packages to reduce costs to regular users and are looking to partner with local job centres.

A full or provisional driving licence is required to hire an e-scooter which is an additional cost to be able to access the service. This is in line with government regulations. An e-bike can still be hired without a provisional or full driving licence.

Positive and Negative


Veterans, Armed Forces Community

No impacts identified








Impact on human rights:



List any human rights impacted.

No impacts identified.





Use the following guidance to inform your responses:



-         Where you think that the proposal could have a POSITIVE impact on any of the equality groups like promoting equality and equal opportunities or improving relations within equality groups

-         Where you think that the proposal could have a NEGATIVE impact on any of the equality groups, i.e. it could disadvantage them

-         Where you think that this proposal has a NEUTRAL effect on any of the equality groups listed below i.e. it has no effect currently on equality groups.


It is important to remember that a proposal may be highly relevant to one aspect of equality and not relevant to another.



High impact

(The proposal or process is very equality relevant)

There is significant potential for or evidence of adverse impact

The proposal is institution wide or public facing

The proposal has consequences for or affects significant numbers of people

The proposal has the potential to make a significant contribution to promoting equality and the exercise of human rights.


Medium impact

(The proposal or process is somewhat equality relevant)

There is some evidence to suggest potential for or evidence of adverse impact

The proposal is institution wide or across services, but mainly internal

The proposal has consequences for or affects some people

The proposal has the potential to make a contribution to promoting equality and the exercise of human rights


Low impact

(The proposal or process might be equality relevant)

There is little evidence to suggest that the proposal could result in adverse impact

The proposal operates in a limited way

The proposal has consequences for or affects few people

The proposal may have the potential to contribute to promoting equality and the exercise of human rights





Step 5 - Mitigating adverse impacts and maximising positive impacts



Based on your findings, explain ways you plan to mitigate any unlawful prohibited conduct or unwanted adverse impact. Where positive impacts have been identified, what is been done to optimise opportunities to advance equality or foster good relations?

Mitigation for adverse impacts for the disabled are outlined below. Additionally TIER will implement slow speed zones where appropriate (e.g. in high footfall areas) to improve safety for all. The footstreets will also be a ‘no go zone’ with e-scooters slowing to 3mph (walking speed) if a rider does enter this area. Similarly, the pedal assist on e-bikes would also switch off if this area is entered.

TIER will work with CYC and the visually impaired community to respond to any continuing concerns and to address these appropriately.


Evidence collated by the RNIB have identified concerns that e-scooters could have on the safety, confidence and independence of blind and partially sighted people. They have set out a number of additional local rules to make e-scooters safer, some of which are outlined below (full list available here).

Discussions have been held with local organisations representing the visually impaired. Representatives from some of these groups undertook a walk around the city centre with colleagues from CYC and TIER in August 2020 to understand their concerns, and how the impact on the visually impaired may be mitigated. This included discussion on sharing street space, features of e-scooters (current and future models), and ways of working together (with CYC and TIER) going forward.

These local organisations have also been involved through the implementation of the trial, including in feeding back on parking racks designed by TIER.

Provision of e-scooters and e-bikes may negatively impact on non-users of the service who are disabled, including the visually impaired. E-scooters and e-bikes may impact on their safety, confidence and independence, both through use of e-scooters and parking locations (e.g. if not parked properly or contribute to street clutter).


Provision of e-scooters may positively impact those who are unable to ride a bicycle due to mobility issues, but are able to stand for extended periods. Provision of e-bikes may positively impact those who are unable to ride a traditional bicycle due to the reduced physical exertion required to power the bicycle.


E-scooters and e-bikes are only allowed where cycles are allowed (i.e. roads and cycle paths). User training and in-app prompts help to promote awareness and safe riding.

Recommendations from the RNIB to make e-scooters safer have, and will continue to be taken into account, including:

Parking locations for the e-scooters and e-bikes will be discussed in collaboration with local organisations representing the visually impaired. The system is a ‘docked’ system, meaning that e-scooters and e-bikes can only be left in designated parking locations (seen in-app with physical markings). This reduces the chance of them causing street clutter and obstructing footways. E-scooters and e-bikes will use the same parking bays.

The helmet box light on the stem of the e-scooters is also permanently on even when parked, helping to improve visibility for the visually impaired. TIER have also improved the visibility of the ID plates, making these reflective, and providing reflective stickers with the ID on the sides of the scooter. This also aids with visibility of e-scooters when parked.

Accessible infrastructure. TIER are able to use geo-fencing to prevent riding in certain locations, and to slow the speed of e-scooters in certain areas; e.g. shared spaces. 

Robust enforcement of rules. TIER have various methods of enforcement and reporting improper use. TIER also provide 24-hour support via phone and email, with a direct line for the local police. TIER have implemented a three strike process, banning users who continually break the rules.

Public awareness on driving e-scooters safely will be provided by TIER. This includes training through live safety demonstrations (where COVID safe), online video training and in-app messaging, as well as in-person training events. TIER is also working with third parties including The AA to educate riders about the safe and responsible use of e-scooters, through their online Road Safe School.

E-scooter design considers points outlined by the RNIB. The e-scooter and the e-bike have an integrated bell so users can alert those nearby of their presence. Local groups highlighted concerns around the quietness of e-scooters. In response, TIER are investigating use of an Audible Vehicle Alert (AVA) system on the e-scooters, so the noise makes their presence more known. 

TIER e-scooters and e-bikes also have a double kickstand to improve the stability when parked.

TIER are also improving the visibility of the ID plates, making these reflective, and providing reflective stickers with the ID on the sides of the scooter. This will also aid with visibility of e-scooters when parked.

The new model of TIER e-scooters in York also have indicators. This improves ease of use and stability for riders, being able to indicate their direction of travel without having to take their hands off the handlebars. The use of indicators also improves ability of non-riders to be made aware of the direction of e-scooter travel.

E-bike design – similarly to e-scooters, the e-bikes have a double kickstand to improve stability when parked. The e-bikes also have an integrated bell so users can alert those nearby of their presence.

An accessible complaints process. TIER operate an accessible complaints process and provide 24 hour support via phone and email.


CYC have engaged, and will continue to work with, local organisations throughout the trial.





Step 6 – Recommendations and conclusions of the assessment




Having considered the potential or actual impacts you should be in a position to make an informed judgement on what should be done. In all cases, document your reasoning that justifies your decision. There are four main options you can take:

-    No major change to the proposal – the EIA demonstrates the proposal is robust.  There is no                     

   potential  for unlawful discrimination or adverse impact and you have taken all opportunities to

   advance equality and foster good relations, subject to continuing monitor and review.

-         Adjust the proposal the EIA identifies potential problems or missed opportunities. This involves taking steps to remove any barriers, to better advance quality or to foster good relations.


-         Continue with the proposal (despite the potential for adverse impact) – you should clearly set out the justifications for doing this and how you believe the decision is compatible with our obligations under the duty


-         Stop and remove the proposal – if there are adverse effects that are not justified and cannot be mitigated, you should consider stopping the proposal altogether. If a proposal leads to unlawful discrimination it should be removed or changed.


Important: If there are any adverse impacts you cannot mitigate, please provide a compelling reason in the justification column.

Option selected



No major change to the proposal








The e-scooter and e-bike scheme has potential negative impacts on those with disabilities, especially for the visually impaired community, although there may be positive impacts for those unable to walk long distances but are still able to ride a bike, or stand on an e-scooter.  Impacts on low income groups are also mixed, with potential benefits to those unable to access a private car, though cost of e-scooters and e-bikes may still be prohibitive.


Sufficient mitigation measures have been outlined in response to advice from organisations representing the visually impaired community. These will continue to be monitored through the trial.


Data collected through the trial’s evaluation (e.g. from TIER and the DfT) may provide further information on impacts to equality groups that have not been identified as part of this EIA. These will be reviewed as outlined in 8.1.





Step 7 – Summary of agreed actions resulting from the assessment




What action, by whom, will be undertaken as a result of the impact assessment.


Action to be taken

Person responsible


Negative impact of e-scooters on the visually impaired community.

To track any feedback and ongoing concerns on the trial in York.

To engage with organisations representing the visually impaired community at a national level.

TIER City Manager

Through trial period (until May 2024 presently)

Negative impact on low income groups

TIER to work with local job centres on how to support travel for job seekers

TIER City Manager

Through trial period (until May 2024 presently)

To review insights from the DfT (who are undertaking evaluation of the scheme) and TIER

Further information from the DfT and TIER will be reviewed and feed into the trial in York.

TIER City Manager and CYC Project Manager

Through trial period (until May 2024 presently)

Any ongoing issues that haven’t been identified

TIER and CYC to regularly review the EIA (at least monthly), and review any feedback / issues raised and implement mitigating actions.

TIER City Manager and CYC Project Manager

Through trial period (until May 2024 presently)



Step 8 - Monitor, review and improve


8. 1

How will the impact of your proposal be monitored and improved upon going forward?   Consider how will you identify the impact of activities on protected characteristics and other marginalised groups going forward? How will any learning and enhancements be capitalised on and embedded?



As highlighted in 7.1, further insights are expected from the DfT and TIER which will feed into the trial in York. Any updated information on impacts will be reviewed by CYC on a monthly basis.

Any ongoing concerns not identified in this EIA that are raised to TIER or CYC through the trial, will be addressed appropriately when these issues are raised, and at least on a monthly basis through meetings with TIER and CYC. Depending on the issue or concern raised, these will also be shared with the Department for Transport and other participating local authorities to aid trials in other areas. Equally lessons from other participating local authorities will also be shared.