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(Pocket-lint) - Drone deliveries and e-scooters are set to be given official UK trials as part of a £90 million package to make transport greener and get us - and our parcels - out of cars and vans.

The work is part of a consultation being launched today by the Department of Transport. The official, slightly tedious, name for the work is called the Future of Transport Regulatory Review but the key word there is "regulatory" - this could mean the legalisation of e-scooters in the UK eventually as well as other initiatives for a greener and more efficient approach to so-called "last-mile" parcel deliveries.

The "last mile" is the expensive part of any delivery, both in financial cost as well as the cost to the environment.

The work around e-scooters will essentially ensure they are safe for use on roads. So there will be recommendations around what the minimum age will be as well as any standards required as well as what insurance users will need.

There will also be consideration around the impact of e-scooters on public space - this predominantly covers where they can be parked to avoid the littering of e-scooters around pavements as we've seen in the US

Another area of focus is whether users will be able to book buses and other community transport in future in the same way as you'd currently book an Uber. 

Alongside the review, a £90m funding boost will lead to trials of new transport innovation in three new Future Transport Zones in Portsmouth and Southampton, the West of England Combined Authority (essentially Bristol and the former county of Avon), and Derby and Nottingham. They will join the existing West Midlands Future of Transport Zone.

In the West of England there will be trials of self-driving cars to transport people between Bristol airport, central Bath and the north of Bristol.

Portsmouth and Southampton will test how new tech can improve travel in car-dominated areas outside of major cities and provide the ability to plan journeys through smartphone apps. New options for last-mile deliveries for freight will also be trialled including e-cargo bikes in cities, and using drones for medical deliveries.

Derby and Nottingham have been granted more than £15m to invest in new "mobility hubs" that integrate and encourage more widespread uptake of public transport, bike hire, car clubs and electric vehicles. 

Writing by Dan Grabham. Originally published on 13 March 2020.