Micromobility provider Beryl is celebrating the first anniversary of its e-scooter scheme in Bournemouth and Poole.
Launched on 25th January 2021 in partnership with BCP Council, the DfT pilot scheme surpassed a million kilometres (1,006,442km) over the weekend from 264,346 separate journeys in its first year.
Feedback from users shows that over a quarter (27.2%) of e-scooter journeys in the BCP Council region have replaced road transport journeys – including driving a car/van, being a passenger in a car/van, using a taxi or riding a motorbike or moped.
This equates to over 52 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions saved, the equivalent of around 3.5 million kettles boiled or more than 300 flights from London to Edinburgh.
Initially launched with 50 e-scooters, the DfT pilot scheme in Bournemouth and Poole has now ramped up to 250 e-scooters. This significant growth came as a direct response to the Covid-19 pandemic to allow residents another form of sustainable and affordable socially distanced travel for essential journeys.
The scheme now comprises 250 e-scooters and, back in September, was extended by the DfT until March this year. Safety has been paramount during the first 12 months of operation, with Beryl working closely with Dorset Police and Public Health Dorset to ensure the trial remains as safe as possible for customers, pedestrians and all other road users.
Geofenced ‘Go Slow’ zones, which automatically reduced the speed of their scooters to 3mph or under upon entry, were introduced in both the summer and winter in busy locations such as the Seafront Promenadeand Bournemouth Square during the Christmas Tree Festival.
Beryl has also launched its new Scoot Happy website, which includes a 15-minute course, designed to offer useful hints and guidance to boost confidence and get riders set for the road. Participants can even claim 300 free minutes on completion.
Beryl CEO Phil Ellis said: “I’m delighted that the trial scheme has proven so popular with our users in Bournemouth and Poole during the first year of operation and it will represent a significant achievement for us to pass the one million landmark for kilometres travelled.
“E-scooters provide a fun, inexpensive and safe alternative to car travel, reducing congestion and helping to clean up our air, and their arrival is already having a significant environmental impact in reducing congestion and lowering harmful carbon emissions.
“What this first year has shown is that, when planned correctly with local authorities and stakeholders and with the safety of users and pedestrians treated as paramount; e-scooters can be an important part of an integrated public transport system alongside cycling, walking and bus service provision.”
Councillor Mike Greene, BCP Council’s portfolio holder for transport and the environment said: “It is great to see the e-scooter trial reach this important milestone and my thanks and congratulations go to Beryl on this joint achievement.
“The e-scooters have their detractors, as does anything new, but there is no denying how popular they have been and how much they have helped in our aim of reducing congestion on our roads by giving people a green, low carbon choice in how they can travel, particularly for those shorter local journeys.”
Beryl also operates a bike share scheme in the area which comprises 900 bikes and was launched in April 2019. Beryl’s e-scooters operate concurrently with its bike share scheme, allowing riders to hire and drop off e-scooters and bikes from Beryl Bays that were implemented in consultation with BCP Council and other local stakeholders.
During the trial period, e-scooter riders are required to provide a valid UK driving licence to participate. They are also asked to provide feedback on their experiences using the vehicles to support data learnings on operating the service.
Beryl e-scooters can be used on roads, cycle lanes, carriageways and other areas where cycling is permitted but not on pavements. Every Beryl e-scooter has vehicle approval from the DfT, ensuring it meets the highest safety standards. Beryl has and will continue to consult with key organisations as the trial progresses.
To begin a trip with a Beryl e-scooter, users need to follow the in-app directions that will unlock the vehicle for use. At the end of their ride, users must lock the scooter via the app and will hear a chime from the scooter to register that it is locked. Beryl e-scooters available to hire are visible both on street and in the app, with Beryl Bays and Bournemouth and Poole’s operating zone also shown in-app.