E-scooter trial launches in Copeland

An e-scooter trial has been launched in Copeland – and members of the public can now take part.

E-scooters are available for hire from today from their base at Westlakes Science Park and various locations around Whitehaven, with rental times ranging from 20 minutes to 24 hours.

Rental costs start at £2 for the first 20 minutes, and the Segway MAX models can move at up to 11mph with their use permitted on public highways in and around Whitehaven and some surrounding areas, including Westlakes Science Park.

Copeland is one of a number of trial areas chosen to assess the safety and impacts of e-scooters on the road, part of the Government’s Future of Transport regulatory review. Ginger, who provide electric scooters in cities across the UK, is partnering with Copeland Borough Council to deliver the pilot project. The number of e-scooters available, and their locations, can be increased dependent on demand.

Pat Graham, Copeland Council’s chief executive, said: “This is a unique opportunity for Copeland to be involved in a pilot scheme. It fits in entirely with our council’s strategy of clean technology capability, and offers our residents, workers and visitors the chance to experience the enjoyment and benefits of replacing a car or public transport journey with this low-carbon, affordable and fun alternative.”

E-scooters have initially been available for tenants of Westlakes for use on the park for the past month. Michael Pemberton, chief executive of BEC, which owns the park, said: “BEC is proud to be a part of Ginger’s e-scooter trial in Copeland.

“We have noticed a fabulous intake of the use of the e-scooters by our tenants and we are happy to have the opportunity to continue improving and promoting better air quality by having them located at our new Bus Station development in Whitehaven, which is scheduled to open mid-May.”

Paul Hodgins, chief executive of Ginger, added: “We are very excited to be bringing one of the national e-scooter pilots to Whitehaven. Ginger had the first pilot in the country, and we are now live in multiple towns across the country. We believe in the ability of these emerging micro electric vehicles to transform local transport for the better, and we are keen to demonstrate that in Whitehaven.

“Like all our pilots we will start modestly, with dedicated parking locations, introducing them into Whitehaven in a controlled and safe manner. But we know there are many different journey types amongst residents, businesses, and visitors that these new vehicles will be able to serve over time, and we are looking forward to working with local stakeholders to demonstrate the benefits.”

The e-scooters are available to rent every day, 24 hours a day. Bookings, payments and insurance are arranged through the Ginger Shared Transport App. This includes unique age and licence verification with facial recognition, and users must be 18 with a full/provisional driving licence. Details of operational boundaries are also outlined at this time and the e-scooters must be returned to a Ginger Hub after use. Helmets and fluorescent clothing are recommended.

Ginger is also supporting NHS, emergency service workers and the Armed Forces with free rides until 21st June. Hubs have initially been created at Whitehaven Train Station, Corkickle Train Station, Aikbank Road, Lowther Street, Jericho Road, the West Cumberland Hospital (all Whitehaven) and Westlakes Science Park (Moor Row).

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