Residents in the Headington area of Oxford will soon be able to rent an e-scooter as part of a trial to allow residents to both travel in a socially distanced manner and cut carbon emissions.
The launch is part of a 12-month trial led by Oxfordshire County Council and e-scooter operator Voi Technology. The plans come as part of the Government’s active travel grant announced in 2020.
“Our electric scooter trials in Oxford with Voi have brought us an exciting opportunity to explore alternative and green transport options for our communities,” said councillor Yvonne Constance, cabinet member for environment, Oxfordshire County Council. “As a county council, we have set out our continued commitment to addressing climate change and transport innovation is a key part of that.”
Richard Corbett, regional general manager of UK, Ireland and Benelux for Voi, added: “We are delighted to be working with Oxfordshire County Council to bring our shared e-scooter scheme to the region. Voi e-scooters play an essential role in getting people, particularly key workers, to move around safely during the pandemic.
“As we move on, micromobility will continue to play a strategic part in the green recovery of our cities and towns, offering a flexible and low carbon way to travel. E-scooters can easily be integrated with public transport, replacing short car journeys, ultimately creating better cities for living, free of pollution and congestion.”
The trial will begin with an area of Headington but will gradually expand to include wider areas of the city as demand increases. Rental scooters will be allowed to use on roads and cycle lanes within the trial area but will be banned on pavements.
Under current regulations, rented e-scooter users must be over 18 and hold a provisional or full driving licence. Users are strongly encouraged to wear helmets and scooter speeds will be restricted to 10 mph. Privately owned e-scooters remain illegal to use in public spaces and roads.
Voi will collaborate with Oxfordshire County Council to support rider education encouraging riders to take Voi’s accredited e-scooter traffic school, RideLikeVoila, which has trained over half a million users to date.
The trial is due to begin in February after a licence to operate is granted to the council by the Department for Transport.