Scooter trials begin
Electric scooter travel will be available in Aylesbury and High Wycombe town centres from this week, Buckinghamshire Council and Zipp Mobility have confirmed.
With Lockdown 2 now in force across England and with current Government advice to avoid public transport if possible, e-scooters are seen as an important alternative for those who still have to make essential local journeys in the towns.
The scooters will be available to rent from 16 November in Aylesbury and 18 November in High Wycombe as part of a 12-month trial that is fully approved by the Department for Transport.
The scooters come fully equipped with safety features including lights, a wide riding deck, front suspension and airless tyres. Each scooter also has anti-viral hand grips and will be subject to additional cleaning and sanitising by local Zipp technicians.
The initial fleet of 25 e-scooters in each town will provide those who still need to travel through the lockdown with an alternative, convenient and ‘green’ way of getting around.
They will also help people cope with the reduced public transport capacity available and allow for better social distancing when making journeys.
Buckinghamshire Council Cabinet Member for Sports and Leisure, Clive Harriss said: ‘During lockdown, people must adhere to the rules and stay at home if at all possible, that’s the safest place for everyone and the best way to reduce the spread of the virus.
‘That said, we know some people may have no choice but to make local trips like getting to and from work for example. E-scooters give people an option to make those journeys in a different and easier way, particularly with less traffic on the roads during the current lockdown period.’
Nick Naylor, Cabinet Member for Transport, added: ‘This initiative provides a genuine alternative to using the car or public transport through the Covid lockdown and beyond in our two main towns.
‘I’d urge you to try out these new e-scooters, which not only represent a greener travel alternative, but also help reduce pollution and improve air quality.’
With full Government backing for the two trials, Transport Minister Rachel Maclean said: ‘The trials of rental e-scooters starting in Buckinghamshire could offer a socially distanced way of getting from A to B for key workers and those making essential journeys.
‘Learning from trials already taking place, Buckinghamshire’s will see strict safety measures introduced, including license verification and responsible parking incentives, while also helping us better understand any impacts on public spaces.’
Will O’Brien, Vice President of Growth and Government Affairs at Zipp Mobility, said: ‘There’s been a lot of careful planning and organisation …particularly on safety and, of course, enhanced cleaning and sanitisation.
‘As things develop, we’ll be looking for feedback from users so we can bring additional improvements in during the trial period.’
Do you qualify?
In order to ride an e-scooter, a person will need to be over 16 and at least hold a provisional driving licence. An ID check will also be undertaken before a rider can hire a scooter. Rental costs for the e-scooters are a £1 unlock fee and a charge of 15p per minute. The scooters must be booked and paid for via the Zipp Mobility app.
People interested in renting the e-scooters must download the Zipp mobility app and complete the mandatory training online:
Zipp Mobility has set up operations in High Wycombe covering both trial areas, helping to create seven new local jobs.
Find out more about the e-scooter trial by going to the dedicated webpage.