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E-scooter trial in Buckinghamshire gets off to an electrifying start

| December 7, 2020
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Aylesbury MP, Rob Butler (centre) checks out the new electric scooters with (L-R) Clive Harriss, Cabinet Member for Sports and Leisure; Steve Bowles, Cabinet Member for Town Centre Regeneration, Will O’Brien and Peter Gomez from operators, Zipp Mobility. (Image supplied by Buckinghamshire Council)

The first week of the e-scooter trial in Buckinghamshire has seen the fleet of 50 scooters travel a combined total of 2,850 miles.

The new electric scooters, now running in Aylesbury and High Wycombe as part of a 12 month Government approved trial, covered the equivalent of travelling from New York to Los Angeles in their first full week of operation according to data provided by Buckinghamshire Council and operators Zipp Mobility.

The 50 strong fleet of e-scooters, which were used over 1,330 times, clocked up more than 2,850 miles between them with journey distances averaging out at just over two miles per rental in both towns.

Such has been the initial demand, more scooters are now being added in both towns together with additional parking bays in popular locations.

Although there have been one or two instances of scooters being abandoned or parked inappropriately, the vast majority use the scooters sensibly and safely.

As well as the scooter design incorporating all the latest safety features, the special geo-fencing technology also means scooters slow down and stop if they are ridden into areas where they are not allowed.

Buckinghamshire Council Cabinet Member for Sports and Leisure, Clive Harriss, said: ‘E-scooters really do offer a new and genuinely alternative way of making short trips in and around our two biggest towns and they’re great fun to use.

Although we have more detailed analysis to do over the coming months, it already looks like trips are being made so people can get to work and for journeys that might otherwise have been made by car or using public transport.

E-scooters add up to a much greener and socially distanced way of getting around which means less pollution, cleaner air and safer travel during the pandemic.

Will O’Brien, Vice-President of Growth and Government Affairs at Zipp Mobility said: ‘Our team on the ground is working round the clock to sanitise our scooters and keep them fully charged.

Initial demand for the service has exceeded our expectations and we are slowly scaling up the fleet in co-operation with the Council and other local stakeholders.

We are also continuing to identify appropriate sites for additional parking zones to ensure the future success of the trial.

As long as you’re over 16 and have a minimum of a provisional driving licence, you can ride a scooter. Simply download the Zipp Mobility app, follow the simple instructions and away you go.

To ensure everyone has a fun and safe scooter experience, both Buckinghamshire Council and Zipp Mobility say users must follow a few simple rules:

  • Riding an e-scooter on a pavement is illegal.
  • Riding is permitted anywhere cycles are allowed.
  • Only one person per e-scooter is allowed.
  • Riders are encouraged to wear a helmet.
  • Keep a watch out for pedestrians and other road users who may not be used to seeing e-scooters.
  • Users will be fined for poor riding/parking practice and repeated offences will result in accounts being blocked.

Parents who register for a ride but give the e-scooter to a child to ride are breaking the law and could receive points on their licence.

With the tracking technology used, the scheme operators are asking that riders please use the appropriate parking zones rather than leaving scooters anywhere else.

The Council also stresses that only e-scooters used as part of official Government approved trials are legal to ride on public roads. As e-scooters are classed as a motor vehicle, they need to comply with all associated legal requirements as well as insurance, which is covered under the Zipp booking arrangements.

With Christmas approaching, people may also be tempted to buy an e-scooter themselves, however these can only currently be used on privately owned land with the landowner’s permission. If they are used on public roads, riders run the risk of the Police taking action, which could mean a large fine, points on your licence or seizure of the scooter itself. The Police have been very active in getting this message out as well as writing to all main retailers to ensure they make customers fully aware of the legal situation.

For further details about the Buckinghamshire trials, can be found on the Buckinghamshire Council website at www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/parking-roads-and-transport/buckinghamshire-electric-scooter-trial.

If local businesses in Aylesbury or High Wycombe think they would benefit from a nearby scooter parking bay, they should e-mail [email protected] with their requested location and contact details.

The Zipp mobility app and details on how to complete the mandatory online training can be found at:

For further details of the legal requirements for privately owned scooters, please visit the Thames Valley Police website at https://www.thamesvalley.police.uk/police-forces/thames-valley-police/areas/advice/e-scooters-what-are-the-rules/.

The statistics for the first week of the e-scooter trial in Buckinghamshire in more detail are:

Aylesbury

  • Total rides : 697
  • Total riders : 332
  • Average ride time : 28 minutes, 1 second
  • Average distance : 2.174 miles
  • Total ride time : 327 hours, 23 minutes, 7 seconds
  • Total distance travelled : 1,517.68 miles

High Wycombe

  • Total rides : 642
  • Total riders : 306
  • Average ride time : 27 minutes, 6 seconds
  • Average distance : 2.103 miles
  • Total ride time : 291 hours, 40 minutes, 18 seconds
  • Total distance travelled : 1,350 miles

*Source of article : Press release from Buckinghamshire Council.

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