BRAKES ON: Neon Ride may be refused a three-month Noosa trial.
BRAKES ON: Neon Ride may be refused a three-month Noosa trial. Contributed

Neon could have to 'scoot' from Noosa streets

ELECTRIC scooters will remain off Noosa streets for the immediate future if councillors back their staff - at least until an "evidence- based” risk management strategy is in place.

Council's property manager Clint Irwin has recommended to yesterday's general committee meeting the council refuse a three-month trial of a commercial high-use permit for up to 100 scooters on community land for Ryde Green, trading as Neon Ride.

"Recent media coverage of the introduction of electric scooters has been comprehensive and highlights not only potential benefits but also a number of issues, particularly regarding safety and public amenity,” Mr Irwin said.

"Neon Ride has relocated to Noosa and claims their electric scooters will provide many benefits to the community.

"Given risk factors and identified issues relating to electric scooters have not been fully assessed by council, it is recommended council refuse the commercial high-use permit application.”

Mr Irwin said Neon Ride launched a two-day trial in March and reported the trial was a success, with 105 people signed up and each scooter averaging five rides per day.

The scooters would operate from 7am and 9pm with a proposed $1 flagfall plus 30 cents per minute of riding time.

Mr Irwin said Neon Ride claimed the scooters would offer tourists "an exciting way to see Noosa's beautiful sights” as a "fun and convenient alternative to car dependency”.

Another "selling” point is the increased mobility of locals and tourists that in turn increases patronage of local businesses and restaurant, as well as creating new employment for scooter collectors and rechargers.

The company is suggesting more than 20designated parking spots could be made available in Hastings St, while in low-density areas the scooters should be able to park where bicycles are legally allowed.

Neon would insist scooter hirers take a photo of where they've parked and send it to Neon Ride to confirm it is safely out of the way of pedestrians.

"In the event the scooter is parked incorrectly, an NR team member is dispatched to rectify the issue,” MrIrwin's report said.

"There is no urgent community requirement for council to facilitate a three-month permit for electric scooter operations or any other shared mobility device operation on community land in Noosa,” he said.

"It is recommended council continue to monitor operations in other local government areas, legislative developments and continue discussions with the Department of Transport and Main Roads and other relevant agencies.”

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