Bath and Bristol are the latest areas to start e-scooter trials

Bath and Bristol are the latest two cities to start trials of e-scooters.

The project is being led by the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) with Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol and South Gloucestershire councils.

It is the latest pilot project to be announced in the UK following the Department of Transport’s decisoon to pass new legislation to accelerate the deployment of e-scooter trials across the country.

During the trial, operator Voi will hold weekly safety pop-up events where ambassadors will be on hand to answer any questions about how to use the scooters safely.

Voi is running programmes across 10 UK local authorities and it saiud It claims the trial will create more than 60 jobs in the region.

To begin with, there will be 100 Voi scooters available in Bristol and 50 available to hire in Bath with more set to be introduced. They will be available to unlock for £1 and cost 20p per minute.

“With social distancing in place on public transport, our e-scooter trial is a chance for us to try a new, low-carbon way to get our region moving, particularly up and down the big hills we have both Bristol and Bath,” said West of England Mayor Tim Bowles.

“Alongside metrobus, our transformational MetroWest rail network and plans for a regional mass transit, we’re making it easier to get to the jobs and training opportunities that will secure our recovery,” he added.

WECA and Voi said they will continue to work closely with groups representing vulnerable road users – including the RNIB, Age UK and Disabilities Move UK – to ensure their needs are carefully considered during the trial.

Only e-scooters that are hired or leased through the West of England’s trial can be used legally on roads, cycle lanes or cycle tracks and riders must hold a full or provisional driving licence.

In addition, Voi claims the trial will introduce several safety measures which exceed the UK government’s requirements.

Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, said: “E-scooters are a great way to travel and will provide a low-emission option in Bristol, alongside our improvements to buses and walking and cycling routes across the city and plans for a mass transit system,” he said.

“These options are more important than ever during the pandemic with reduced capacity on public transport and will contribute to a more sustainable and connected future for Bristol,” he added.

There are also a variety of subscriptions available, as well as discounted passes for students, key workers, and those on low-incomes. Riders can download the Voi app for free in the Apple App Store or Google Play.

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