Want to spark an e-scooter revolution in London? Ditch the language of conquest Tags: Trading Archive Tuesday 21 May 2019 11:00 am Fredrik Hjelm Indeed, the current restrictions have not stopped many in the UK buying their own e-scooters and using them around town anyway.It’s not hard to see why. E-scooters could be enormously useful in UK cities, particularly in the capital, cutting congestion and providing a low-emission option for millions of commuters.Yet many still argue that the ban is justified, on the grounds that e-scooters may clog up the streets and endanger pedestrians.In this case, the Uber-style “ask forgiveness, not permission” approach to growth deployed by some of the US e-scooter startups has not helped the sector win friends. What Silicon Valley insiders might view as bold determination not to let obstacles get in the way of vision is seen by everyone else as a deliberate disregard for procedure.Tech companies like to talk about disruption, but that’s an arrogant phrase to use when considering issues as complex and fraught as gridlocked cities. It’s also a dysfunctional and unsustainable way to expand into new markets. When Germany’s politicians gave electric scooters the green light last Friday, they instantly created Europe’s largest market for this new mode of transport, while making Britain the last remaining major country in the continent not to approve e-scooters for use on roads.Pressure is now mounting on British politicians to overturn the ban on e-scooters, along with segways and hoverboards. Opinion Credit: Lime by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikePast Factory4 Sisters Take The Same Picture For 40 Years. Don’t Cry When You See The Last One!Past FactoryFilm OracleThey Drained Niagara Falls – Their Gruesome Find Will Keep You Up All NightFilm Oraclebonvoyaged.comThese Celebs Are Complete Jerks In Real Life.bonvoyaged.comZen HeraldEllen Got A Little Too Personal With Blake Shelton, So He Said ThisZen HeraldDefinitionMost Embarrassing Mistakes Ever Made In HistoryDefinitionDaily Funny40 Brilliant Life Hacks Nobody Told You AboutDaily FunnyMisterStoryWoman files for divorce after seeing this photoMisterStoryHealthyGem20 Hair Shapes That Make A Man Over 60 Look 40HealthyGemPost FunThe Deadliest Snakes Ever Found On The PlanetPost Fun More From Our Partners Russell Wilson, AOC among many voicing support for Naomi Osakacbsnews.comBrave 7-Year-old Boy Swims an Hour to Rescue His Dad and Little Sistergoodnewsnetwork.orgPorsha Williams engaged to ex-husband of ‘RHOA’ co-star Falynn Guobadiathegrio.comNative American Tribe Gets Back Sacred Island Taken 160 Years Agogoodnewsnetwork.orgFans call out hypocrisy as Tebow returns to NFL while Kaepernick is still outthegrio.comPolice Capture Elusive Tiger Poacher After 20 Years of Pursuing the Huntergoodnewsnetwork.orgColin Kaepernick to publish book on abolishing the policethegrio.comAstounding Fossil Discovery in California After Man Looks Closelygoodnewsnetwork.orgLA news reporter doesn’t seem to recognize actor Mark Currythegrio.com It’s time tech businesses stopped talking in terms of upending industries and winning territories, and talked about our responsibilities instead. Only then will people trust us to run services as critical to a city’s proper functioning as transport.We hope the UK government follows the lead of other leading European states in allowing e-scooters as one tactic to help cut pollution and improve air quality. Europe’s commuters have shown that they are overwhelmingly supportive.But whatever happens, all tech businesses need to change their mindset and drop the language of battle and conquest. whatsapp whatsapp In almost all cities, any transport operation that does not try to integrate with the existing public transport network will have a very short lifespan. Asking permission before you go into a market is essential.A better approach than seeking to “conquer” new cities would be for operators to partner with them.That means building meaningful (rather than just promotional) relationships, abiding by local regulations, and understanding that there can be no one-size-fits-all strategy for cities with cultures, habits and climates as varied as there are in Europe.Tech companies also need to pay their way. The fact that some haven’t hired staff or paid tax locally in the past is exacerbating the current backlash against tech giants. It is the least a transport tech company can do as a new arrival in a city.There’s another tactic that responsible disruptors should consider: offer data that can be used for the public good. From a city planning perspective, data on transport usage will help with designing and budgeting for infrastructure improvements, as well as increasing both safety and convenience for all city users. Share City A.M.’s opinion pages are a place for thought-provoking views and debate. These views are not necessarily shared by City A.M.