Paris announces the 3 firms licenced to operate electric scooters in capital

Paris authorities have announced the three companies that have won licences to operate electric scooters in the capital, part of a project to clamp down on unrestricted scooter hire.

Paris announces the 3 firms licenced to operate electric scooters in capital
Just three companies will now be licenced to operate scooters in Paris. Photo: AFP

The huge proliferation of dockless electric scooters (trottinette electrique) has become something of a headache for Paris authorities and there have been several local bylaws introduced aiming at clamping down on anti-social scooter riding.

After introducing speed limits and banning riding on the pavement, Paris City Hall then introduced a code of conduct for the hire companies to sign up to, which included doing more to deal with broken, abandoned or trashed scooters which were soon littering the city.

However at the end of 2019 authorities decided that more regulation was needed and announced that only three companies would in future be licenced to hire out the scooters in Paris.

Abandoned scooters regularly have to be fished out of the waterways. Photo: AFP

In total 16 applications were received and on Thursday the winning three were announced; Lime, Dott and Tier.

Each operator will be permitted to rent a maximum of 5,000 scooters, a cut to the more than 30,000 scooters available at present.

“The three selected operators will sign an agreement to occupy public space, each authorising them to deploy a maximum of 5,000 machines in the capital.

“They have been selected on the basis of three criteria: environmental responsibility, user safety, and lastly the management of maintenance and recharging of the vehicles,” said Paris City Council in a press release.

The city is in the process of creating 2,500 dedicated parking spaces for scooters, in an effort to avoid them being left strewn over walkways and cycle paths.

READ ALSO Speed limits and no sharing: These are the new French laws for scooter riders

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Massive hornet-trapping campaign begins in south west France

Across south west France trapping campaigns have begun in an attempt to control the numbers of dangerous Asian hornets.

Massive hornet-trapping campaign begins in south west France

Trapping campaigns are organised annually at this time of year, as the weather begins to get warmer and queens begin to emerge from hibernation.

And the Charente-Maritime town of Royan Atlantique, on France’s west coast, is leading the way, as the below video shows.

Experts say that now is the time to begin using the traps, as catching queen hornets in the process of building their nests will lead to far fewer insects later in the year. 

Some 2,000 traps are installed in and around Royan this year, including 300 that were distributed to householders in the week of Valentine’s Day. 

Once installed, the traps can capture several dozen insects at a time.

In order to capture a maximum of hornet queens, traps should be installed between mid-February and mid-May. Especially since during this period, these predators end up coming out of their hibernation.

It is believed Asian hornets arrived in France around 2004. They have now spread nationwide.

Although their venom is not more powerful than that of normal bees or wasps, they are known to be more aggressive towards humans, and their stings can cause anaphylactic shock in allergic people.

The hornets also damage beehives and kill bees, damaging honey stocks and destroying the native ecosystem.