An e-scooter firm has blamed vandals for its decision to pull out of Sunderland.
Zwings began operating in the city in January after the last provider pulled out, saying rising energy costs were a key factor.
But now the rental company said it will cut the number of its electric scooters in Sunderland from Wednesday and end its trial there altogether on May 5.
“This difficult decision has been made after a series of incidents of vandalism that have occurred in the past couple of months in Sunderland,” a spokesperson said.
“Unfortunately, vandalism has been higher than expected – resulting in significant financial losses for the operator – and has put the safety of its riders at risk.”
The scheme was expected to double in size in 2023, with a trial due to last until May 2024.
Zwings boss Stephen Bee said: “We are deeply disappointed to be leaving Sunderland. The city council has shown great support for our e-scooter service throughout.
“Sadly, we are unable to bear the costs of vandalism and operate a financially sustainable operation.
“We will be communicating fully to our riders and will be reimbursing any outstanding passes or credits.
Sunderland City Council’s executive director of city development, Peter McIntyre, said: “It’s regrettable that a minority of people have been unable to respect or treat e-scooters correctly and so they have spoilt this opportunity to continue the service.
“We will continue to explore other options in terms of e-scooters as this mode of sustainable travel develops on a national basis.”