The company that runs York's e-scooter and e-bike hire scheme is pulling out of the city.

The contract between City of York Council and hire company TIER will end on May 31 this year.

The council said it was disappointed that TIER was pulling out of York and was having discussions with other providers, as the micro-mobility operator said it was refocussing its efforts on achieving profitability.


The TIER e-scooters were legally operated as part of the Government’s nationwide rental trials, extended four times since July 2020. There are currently 22 trial regions in operation in England.

At the time of the launch in 2020, council chiefs said the trials could deliver "a sustainable travel alternative to residents and visitors to York".

York Press: TIER brought e-bikes to York in 2021TIER brought e-bikes to York in 2021 (Image: Newsquest)

Councillor Pete Kilbane, executive member for transport at City of York Council, said: “Participating in the trial enabled York to gain valuable insight into the use of e-scooters and e-bikes, and how we might look to make these permanent sustainable transport options in future.

“We’ve had an excellent partnership working with TIER over the years, and we’d like to thank them for working on the trial here in York.

“The temporary government legislation for the trials are still in place, so we are in discussion with the Department for Transport about the options we have for a new operator to run an e-scooter trials in York."

According to TIER and the council, since the trial began nearly 60,000 e-scooter and e-bike users in York have covered more than 820,000 miles in over half a million journeys.

Jessica Murphy, head of public policy at TIER, said: “It is with a heavy heart that we have chosen not to continue operating in York beyond the end of our existing contract.

“In light of both our path to profitability and the way our business has developed in the UK, we have had to take the difficult decision to focus our resources in other locations with stronger long-term growth potential.

“We want to extend our deepest thanks to the people of York and to City of York Council for their support over the last three years."

York was TIER’s first city launch in the UK, with e-scooter operations starting in October 2020. TIER brought e-bikes here in April 2021.

Although crash figures involving e-scooters increased in North Yorkshire in 2023, TIER's bosses pointed out that there are a high number of unsafe privately owned e-scooters being used illegally on UK streets.

The council issued a reminder that it is not legal to ride a private e-scooter on the highway and this will remain the case when the trial ends.

A government report from January 2021 into national perceptions of e-scooter use showed that while awareness was high, uptake was very low, with only 15 per cent of respondents likely to hire an e-scooter in a town or city centre in the UK if this was an option.

York Press: An 'acoustic alert system' was added to e-scooters to improve road safety.An 'acoustic alert system' was added to e-scooters to improve road safety. (Image: Newsquest)

Eighty per cent of those surveyed mentioned at least one disadvantage, chiefly highlighting safety of pedestrians and riders.

However, it added that the more people said they knew about e-scooters, the more likely they were to buy or hire one, subject to a change in the law.

TIER trialled an acoustic alert system for the scooters to improve road safety for blind and partially sighted pedestrians when interacting with e-scooter riders.