Smart Transport

Buckingham Council to start 12-month e-scooter trial

Buckingham Council has launched its 12 month e-scooter rental trial that will see microbility offered to those in High Wycombe and Aylesbury through provider Zipp Mobility.

The trial is expected to be operational in November and will follow popular routes through both towns.

Geofencing technology will prevent them operating outside of set areas.

Special 'parking zones' will also be marked out to make pick up and drop off easier.

Nick Naylor, Buckinghamshire Council cabinet member for transport, said: “Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic we’ve all experienced huge changes in our daily lives, not least in the way we travel.

“In addition to looking at ways to encourage more cycling and walking, the e-scooter trials 

bring a new dimension to short distance travel in our two main town centres.”

Naylor said that with coronavirus restrictions set to continue for months to come, it will be vital to keep investing in town centres and new forms of micro-transport.

Zipp Mobility has already led several informal discussions with local councillors and other stakeholders, in particular representatives of disability organisations, to understand their concerns and address them directly in designing the trial.

Will O’Brien, VP of growth & government affairs at Zipp Mobility, said: “It is vital to us that we work closely with Buckinghamshire Council and local stakeholders while we design and plan this trial in order for it to best meet the needs of the community.

“Through extensive stakeholder engagement we have gained valuable local knowledge into the design to ensure we deliver the best trial possible for Buckinghamshire.”

The scooters won’t operate in pedestrian areas

Zipp’s scooters are designed in California specifically for the rental market.

Zipp Mobility will be undertaking in-person, education and training sessions before the trials get fully underway.

These will be socially distanced and follow all COVID-compliant rules.

This will give people interested in using a scooter the opportunity to try one out before renting.

In order to ride an e-scooter, a person will have to be over 16 and at the very least hold a provisional driving license.

A verifiable ID check will also be undertaken before a rider can hire a scooter. Scooters will be booked and paid for via the Zipp Mobility app.

The Zipp scooters will be using geofencing technology to prevent riders from going into wholly pedestrian areas or onto major roads.

If they try, the scooter motors will slow down to a standstill – until they return to a permitted riding route.

The maximum speed limit is 15.5 mph and it is possible to use the technology to automatically reduce speeds and create slow zones in specified areas.

To reduce the incidence of ‘scooter littering’ (where scooters are simply abandoned by their riders) the Buckinghamshire scheme will utilise marked parking bays where riders will start and finish their journeys.

During the trial there will be regular opportunities for community feedback and the trial can be modified at any time to respond to local concerns or opportunities.

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