ELECTRIC scooters for hire launched in York yesterday - and could be rolled out further to enable people to ride to the new Community Stadium, out of town shopping centres and Park&Ride sites.

Tier scooters have started appearing in the city centre, where they can be rented through the app once the rider has validated their full or provisional driving licence. It costs £1 to unlock and 15p per minute to ride.

But schemes in other cities have faced problems and York has it's own challenges - what happens if a scooter ends up in the river? Can they be used on the pavement or in the pedestrian zone? What happens if a rider breaks the rules?

Fred Jones, Tier's general manager, said: "Firstly they are all waterproof. They have location sensors on them so we know if it's [gone into the river] and we work with a company to get them out.

"You won't be able to use them in the [pedestrianised city centre streets] - they will slow down so much that they will have to be pushed."

He said the company is insured - so if there is an accident and it is the rider's fault, third party insurance applies.

People can also be fined and get six points on their licence for breaking the rules - including using the e-scooter on the pavement.

Each scooter is fitted with lights and its own licence plate number. Anyone who spots someone breaking the rules can report them to a dedicated phone line or email address - which could see that person banned.

Only 50 scooters will be available in the city at first, as the company says it wants to roll out the service slowly so that any issues can be resolved.

If successful the scheme could see up to 1,000 e-scooters made available and up to 350 parking spots across the city.

Fred added: "Success if not how many scooters we get on the ground as quickly as possible. We are taking it slowly and have designed the rollout to take in people's views. We will only expand if we need to and if it is safe to do so."

The scooters each have a foldable helmet and a phone charger.

They can reach speeds of up to 12.5mph, but are speed limited in certain areas.

And Fred added that in some areas the e-scooters have been made available to police free of charge to help them do their patrols - and this is an option for the force in York.

The e-scooters will be available 24 hours a day, with the company hoping this means people who work late or early shifts can use the scooters instead of public transport.

Fred added: "The appeal is really broad - early adopters include young professionals, students, commuters and business workers, as well as people on a low income because it's affordable and available all hours.

"It's a viable alternative to private car use.

"We are fully climate neutral, we never scrap a scooter, we repair, recycle and reuse. We also refurbish them for sale on the private market."

The scooters have swappable batteries, which are changed by a fleet of staff on electric cargo bikes.

An electric van picks and broken scooters up for repairs outside of busy times so they are not adding to traffic.

And a team of about 20 Tier staff will be based in York, creating new jobs in the city.