The West of England Combined Authority has partnered with shared mobility provider Voi to start e-scooter rental trials in the cities of Bristol and Bath. Over the next 12 months, commuters and visitors will be able to hire an e-scooter to travel around the cities. Voi has said that this will create 60 jobs in the area during the trial.
‘With social distancing in place on public transport, our e-scooter trial is a chance for us to try a new, low carbon way to get our region moving, particularly up and down the big hills we have in both Bristol and Bath’, said West of England Mayor, Tim Bowles, ‘Alongside metrobus, our transformational MetroWest rail network and plans for a regional mass transit, we’re making it easier to get to the jobs and training opportunities that will secure our recovery.’
At first there will be 50 e-scooters available in Bath and 100 in the larger city of Bristol, with more being added over time. It will cost £1 to unlock the e-scooters and then 20p per minute to use them. Subscriptions will also be available, along with discounts for key workers, students, and those on a low income.
Users need to hold a full or provisional (car) driving licence and be at least 18 years of age. The trial will also introduce safety measures beyond UK government requirements, including:
- Maximum speeds of 10 mph;
- No-ride and slow-speed zones;
- Automatic turning off when used outside operational zones;
- Number plates;
- Driving licence and identity checks;
- Voi ambassadors on the street to enforce safe behaviour;
- Ambassadors cooperating with police to restrict/ban non-compliant users;
- Copper tape on handlebars to limit bacterial and virus contamination;
- Disinfecting the scooters every 24 hours.
Voi will be holding weekly pop-up events to answer questions on safety and hand out free helmets. Riders will also be encouraged to complete Voi’s e-scooter traffic school.
Original article first published 3 November 2020 by Smart transport.
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