Zwings scoots away from Sunderland e-scooter scheme

Costly vandalism halts city’s rental trial just months after it started. 

E-scooters are a sustainable, convenient and affordable form of travel – and they’re also fun to ride. But Sunderland City Council’s efforts to establish a lasting rental scheme have faced a series of challenges.

black and white floor tiles

The operator Neuron ran an e-scooter programme in Sunderland for almost two years. However, in November 2022 it had to withdraw its scheme, reportedly due to the increase in energy prices. 

Undaunted, the city council soon announced a new partnership, and Zwings e-scooters started to appear in the city in January of this year. The plan was for a trial programme to run until May 2024. 

Zwings also runs successful e-scooter schemes in Cheltenham, Gloucester and South Somerset, and supplies e-scooters to several businesses. On January 5, the company deployed 100 of its distinctive blue scooters in parking bays across Sunderland. It hoped to significantly increase that number over the year.

Unfortunately, the company now has to end the Sunderland scheme entirely after just a matter of weeks. 

Stephen Bee, Chief Operating Officer at Zwings, said: ‘We are deeply disappointed to be leaving Sunderland. The city council has shown great support for our e-scooter service throughout.’ 

‘Sadly, we are unable to bear the costs of vandalism and operate a financially sustainable operation.’ 

The company will cut the number of its distinctive blue scooters ahead of ending the service altogether on May 5.

The company will now contact users of its e-scooters in Sunderland to reimburse passes and any remaining credits. Zwings operations in other UK locations are not affected and will continue as before. 

Peter McIntyre, Executive Director of City Development at Sunderland City Council, added: ‘It’s regrettable that a minority of people have been unable to respect or treat e-scooters correctly and so they have spoilt this opportunity to continue the service.’  

‘We would like to thank Zwings for their work this year and we respect their decision.’ 

In more positive news, this month two e-bike schemes in Wales received extended funding after successfully encouraging locals to swap their drive for a cycle.

Photo by Ranurte


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Help us break the news – share your information, opinion or analysis
Back to top