Smart Transport

West of England e-scooter trial expands

E-scooter commuter

Following the successful launch of the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) e-scooter trial, the trial area for the ‘hop-on hop-off’ e-scooters has expanded.

Since the launch of the trial in October 2020, more than 225,000 rides have been taken and almost 615,000 miles travelled.

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Voi Technology has been providing the ‘Voi 4 Heroes’ scheme, offering free rides to NHS workers, emergency services personnel and the armed forces. The company said 1,600 riders have used the scheme – making a total of more than 21,500 rides.

Tim Bowles, Mayor of the West of England, said: “The West of England has really embraced our e-scooter trial and I’m pleased that many more people will now have a chance to benefit from this low-carbon alternative to the car for short journeys to access essential work and services.

“I’ve been particularly keen to expand the trial to include hospitals in the region. This means that more NHS staff have access to this new green form of transport and can take advantage during lockdown of the Voi for Heroes scheme that gives free rides to NHS workers.

“E-scooters are part of our transport plans for the region alongside metrobus, MetroWest rail network and plans for regional mass transit, to make it easier to get to the jobs and training opportunities that will secure our recovery.”

The Smart Transport member, WECA, has also recently introduced long-term e-scooter rentals that can be stored at home and used by residents across Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol and South Gloucestershire.

The trial forms part of the West of England’s £28m plans for a Future Transport Zone in the region that aims to improve access to public transport for local communities.

Richard Corbett, regional general manager of UK, Ireland and Benelux for Voi, said: “E-scooters offer a flexible, accessible, outdoors and socially-distanced mode of transport, particularly useful for short journeys from one to three miles.

"We have seen thousands of residents in the region using them for their essential journeys. As we expand into new areas, we will continue to work closely with the West of England Combined Authority to ensure the safety and success of the trial.”

The new areas in the trial include:

  • Southmead
  • Emersons Green
  • Downend
  • Mangotsfield
  • Staple Hill
  • Kingswood
  • Hanham
  • Brislington
  • Knowle
  • Hillfields
  • St George
  • Bishopsworth
  • Upper Weston
  • Lower Weston

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