North Devon Council one step closer to introducing e-scooter trial

North Devon Council is one step closer to introducing an e-scooter trial, after being granted the right to a licence by the Department for Transport (DfT).

The council, working closely with Petroc and e-scooter company Voi Technology, had submitted a proposal to pilot e-scooters in North Devon. The DfT granted the license this month and plans are afoot to run a trial in Barnstaple starting as soon as 2021.

The scheme aims to tackle rural transport challenges in the district, particularly improving access to Petroc, which sees an average of over 4,000 pupils travelling to the main campus in Sticklepath in each week.

“We are pleased that we have been granted a licence agreement and we look forward to working with Voi and Petroc to take further positive steps towards a successful trial phase,” said councillor Malcolm Prowse, lead member for economic development and regeneration at North Devon Council. “This includes addressing the safety concerns and needs of other road users, especially vulnerable groups. Close planning and collaboration with Devon and Cornwall Police will also go a long way to ensuring the safety and viability of the trial over the 12-month period.”

Co-founder and CEO of Voi Technology Fredrik Hjelm added: “We are excited to be bringing Voi’s e-scooter service to the beautiful coastal area of North Devon. I believe rural areas can benefit from this new green mode of transport, particularly those with large student or business campuses or with seasonal influxes of population. I am confident residents and visitors will enjoy this new liberating form of transport.

“E-scooters are a safe, low-carbon way to move around and a great alternative to car journeys. As the pandemic continues people are keen to find new ways to go about their journeys and e-scooters are a great socially distancing option.”

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