It was one of those unseasonably warm autumn mornings and I had to dodge the showers for my test run on what might be a future commuter, being a 100% electric 125cc engine type scooter from the Far East. The lads at Motech in Newcastle were asking me to test ride this because I had previously test ridden a Vespa Ellectrica which was equivalent to a 50 cc scooter in the past.  They told me this was a nippy scooter with not one, but two batteries under the seat!

The scooter was all in black and looked very well made. My version had a commuter screen on and it is like a Honda C90 Cub step-through but of course has no gears as it is 100% electric. The seat is wide and comfortable and the tubular chassis is shown so the bodywork is not as complete as some commuter bikes. I noticed a very big back brake (see later).

Paul and his son Neil showed me around the scooter.  It has a very simple and easy to read TFT  display which shows the charging both on a bar graph and the percentage of the two batteries, side-by-side. Paul has been using it to commute to and from South Shields and tells me he gets two return journeys, therefore somewhere in the region of just under 50 miles, using full power before he needs to recharge it.

It has three speeds – 1 through to 3 on a right thumb slide button and I was advised to put it into 2, which covers speeds 1 and 2, for the battery usage.  When I got out on an open road to switch then to 3 as this uses more power up from the batteries.

I gingerly moved off with the weird feeling of no noise whatsoever apart from a barely discernible whirr and of course instant power and no gears.  However, within about 400 yards I had the hang of it.  It’s pretty nippy away from a standing start around town and beating everyone at the start of the traffic lights was really easy.  It keeps up with all urban traffic in the 30 mph zones. Very easy to filter as it’s a narrow scooter and you can get right to the front of those ‘pesky’ traffic queues without difficulty.  It would suit a top box for commuting.

I decided to test out the urban efficiency of it and took all of the urban roads rather than using the Coast Road as I decided to go from Newcastle to North Shields Fish Quay.  I thought of a maritime photo opportunity and I could visit one of the eateries down on North Shields Fish Quay.

I had no problems getting there.  Really easy to park and I decided to park with my front wheel into the curb to use the reverse gear! My eyes alighted on a handwritten sign at the western end of the Fish Quay in what I then found out to be the Loading Bay of Tynemouth Select Cars sales rooms. Inside it has a beautiful chrome and aluminium iconic American Airstream trailer with Mediterranean food and particularly fried pizzas inside served by Bryan and Anthony.  There was funky seating and wall graphics and Jungle Coffee, being served by Chloe.  Upstairs is the well-attended Salt Market Social Club which you urban hipsters will all know about, looking out onto the Tyne.  The Loading Bay is open Wednesday to Sunday from lunchtime onwards.

I ordered the Mediterranean veg pizza from Med Head, and it was really light and tasty with a flat white from Jungle Coffee.  Bryan told me that they used to attend all the festivals but are there now and I would strongly advise you to get down there and sample the food and coffee – fantastic.

All too soon it was time to wend my way back.  I decided to try out the Coast Road.  Paul told me that he was able to get 58 mph out of the scooter on full chat on mode 3.  I switched into 3 and could feel the speed building up but someone pulled in front of me at 57 mph so I couldn’t beat Paul’s record. You can notice a difference when you go in to speed 3 in terms of how much the battery runs down, but this particular model can be either bought with one or two batteries. Paul tells me there’s a three-point plug and it charges within a few hours and having read some of the other reviews it is extremely cheap (8p for a two battery full charge?).  There is no vehicle excise duty on this scooter as well.

The scooter, being all electric, has no engine braking so when you roll off the throttle you keep going! I did get used to that and interestingly the back brake, which is huge, brought the scooter to a quicker halt than the front brake in my view.  Of course, you have to balance those for safety but the “engine” is of course the battery being directly above the rear wheel with a short connection hence the large back brake over the wheel.

There’s a USB port to charge your mobile on the go and the handy screen kept away the showers.  We had a committee meeting back at Motech to work out reverse and it was simply a button on the handlebars.  You have to hold it in as a safety feature and then it worked fine. Paul’s advice was to buy the one battery version which is cheaper if your commutes are not as long. A fisherman at the Quay wanted to know all about the scooter and he was amazed at how big the batteries were and that they were easily lifted out for charging off the bike as well.

To paraphrase the Phoenix nights catchphrase – electric scooters – they’re the future!?  I think you have to check this electric drive alternative to make your own decision. My research is telling me that new petrol bikes will be banned in the UK from 2035 which is part of the government’s Transportation De-carbonisation Plan, despite the fact that small commuter bikes take up so little room on our roads. I am told that to encourage riders and drivers to switch to electric

power, the government has earmarked an additional £582 million for plug-in car, van, taxi motorcycle financial incentives to reduce the cost of zero emission vehicles. Now, where is that garlic pizza!

Mark Hipkin is a Partner/ Head of the Personal Injury and Civil Litigation department. He welcomes your e-mails or calls on the law (or your biking experiences) at wbay@aldersonlaw.co.uk or call 0191 2533509.

Chris was originally a Fellow of the Institute of Legal Executives from 1997 and qualified as a Solicitor in 2001.

He has over 25 years experience in private client work comprising Wills, Trusts, Probate, Powers of Attorney and other Court of Protection Work such as Deputyship applications. Chris has been a Partner in several firms in the North East, being Head of Wills, Trusts and Probate.

He brings a wealth of experience to his role and works closely with clients, providing them with a service tailored to their needs

Susan was born and bred in the North East, spending all of her working life in Blyth. She qualified in 1981 and, after some years at Alderson Law, began to specialise in family law, covering both private and legal aid. Susan was a member of the Law Society Family Panel and an accredited Resolution specialist, specialising particularly in private children law and domestic violence.

Susan took part-retirement in December 2018 but still works as a Solicitor here at Alderson Law. Outside of work she enjoys cooking, walking, reading, and spending time with her family. She has also been a Brownie leader for over 40 years.

Originally from East Yorkshire, Jasmine moved to the North East in 2012 to study at Northumbria University undertaking the M Law Exempting (BPTC) course (the only undergraduate course in England and Wales which incorporates the Bar Professional Training Course), graduating in 2016 with a First Class Honours and a Very Competent in the Bar Professional Training Course. Prior to joining Alderson Law Jasmine specialised in RTA Fraud in a Personal Injury firm, before moving to another firm to work as a Family Law Paralegal.

In 2018 she joined our team as a Family Law Paralegal, and whilst working full time, undertook a two year Legal Practice course at Sunderland University, qualifying as a Solicitor in November 2021. In her spare time Jasmine likes visiting the beach, watching live music and looking after her pet rabbit.

Julie is a highly experienced property solicitor. She studied Law at Northumbria University and, after qualifying in 2000, went on to work at national and international firms prior to joining the team at Anderson Law in 2017. She works alongside her clients, advising on residential and commercial property development, property investment, portfolio management, property finance, landlord and tenant, easements and restrictive covenants.

Fiona is a specialist private client lawyer providing advice and assistance with wills, trusts, tax planning, probate & estate administration, lasting powers of attorney, court of protection and elderly client work. Having previously worked with a number of Newcastle-based firms listed in The Legal 500, Fiona brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the role. She is a full member of STEP (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners), the association for specialists in family inheritance and succession planning.

Fiona grew up in Northern Ireland and studied law at Durham University, and has remained in the North East ever since. She enjoys spending time with her family at their cottage in Northumberland.

Mark Hipkin, partner at Alderson Law LLP, has been advising businesses and claimants since he qualified as a solicitor in 1982.

Mark’s passion is for representing claimants on two wheels in complex, serious and catastrophic motorcycle, scooter and cycle injuries, but he also has extensive experience of acting for claimants in many other personal injury areas including occupiers and public liability work and accidents at work. He specialises in challenging and complex cases. Mark always puts the client first, looking from the first day of instruction to obtain the best and fairest outcome for a claimant, no matter how long a case may take. He is a fan of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and early neutral valuation as alternatives to litigation. Sometimes, however, litigation is the best option, together with the necessary drive to see every matter through to a fair conclusion.

Mark also, having started his own business, advises business clients, often with motorcycle-, scooter- or cycle-related businesses and also deals with complex commercial disputes, professional negligence cases, and general civil litigation.

Mark likes to spend what free time he has with his family, his faithful sprocket spaniel, and practising Tai Chi and Tang Too Do (Korean karate – in which he is a second Dan).

Having worked in family law for over 25 years, Julie is a highly accomplished specialist in her field. She has a vast body of experience in dealing with family law, from divorce and related financial issues to complex child-related cases. Julie was the first person in North Tyneside to achieve the status of an accredited advanced family law specialist, and is a member of the Law Society Advanced Family Panel, which demonstrates her experience in complex contested family cases and other subject-specific matters.

Though multi-talented and highly experienced, Julie’s particular speciality is in complex ancillary relief (financial settlement) claims and complex residence and contact disputes.

In her spare time Julie enjoys relaxing and spending time with her family and three grandchildren. She attends clients at our Whitley Bay and Blythe offices.

Tracey is one of our Partners and qualified as a solicitor in 1997. Throughout her career she has had a varied caseload undertaking matters in most areas of civil and private client law. Tracey can assist clients in a wide range of matters including: Wills, Probate, Powers of Attorney, Debt Recovery, Residential and Commercial Conveyancing as well as Licensing and Landlord and Tenant matters.

Tracey is one of our most senior practitioners with over 20 years of local experience, having graduated from both Newcastle University and Northumbria University. When not in the office she enjoys walking, cycling, and cooking with her family.