Trials of e-scooters proved to be a success in Stafford and Newcastle-Under-Lyme

Trials of e-scooters in Stafford and Newcastle-Under-Lyme have now seen over 18,732rides taken covering a total distance of 93,676km, since they started in September 2020. These rides taken, when compared with car journey’s, has saved an estimated 13,066kg of C02, according to Amey, one of the partners in the trial.

Just over six months ago, Staffordshire County Council (SCC) and Amey partnered with electric scooter providers Ginger and Zwings to launch micromobility trials in Stafford and Newcastle-Under-Lyme, as part of the £22.9m ADEPT Smart Places Live Labs programme.

The length of ride varies, with the average distance per ride being 4.9km –the longest journey taken so far however has been 38km, said Amey.

Staffordshire County Council’s assistant director for connectivity and sustainability Clive Thomson said: “The SIMULATE e-scooter trial in Stafford and Newcastle has been a real success and been popular with residents in offering an alternative and environmentally friendly travel option. In addition to providing more locations for picking up and parking e-scooters across communities in both towns as the trial has progressed, we’ve partnered with the NHS at Stafford’s County Hospital and Keele University to ensure key sites are connected.

“We’d like to remind people that only e-scooters hired from Ginger and Zwings are legal on roads and cycleways and in their use is restricted to those pilot areas. People should be riding scooters safely as they would any other motorised vehicle and risk penalties if they don’t. At the end of the trial period we will feedback all information including challenges we have faced to the Department for Transport.”

The success of the trial during the first trial months, saw SIMULATE partner with the NHS Hospital in Stafford, with 61 percent of all rides taken travelling from point-to-point which indicates a significant amount of modal shift taking place.

Now, as the country starts to come out of lockdown, those living and working in Staffordshire are being encouraged to try e-scooters as an alternative mode of transport to navigate the towns. The SIMULATE team are also deploying e-scooters into more rural locations in Staffordshire to further understand the feasibility and impact of micromobility in rural settings.

Live Labs Programme Director, Giles Perkins said: “Shared e-scooters programmes are a key part of the emerging decarbonised mobility agenda and we are excited to see results such as these coming from the Staffordshire trials. New and future mobility solutions aren’t just for the major cities and through Labs we are demonstrating where new technologies and services could bring benefits to communities of all scales”

Amy Liebig-Phillpotts, Head of Business Improvement for Transport Infrastructure at Amey, said: “Now we are over six months into the trial of e-scooters in Staffordshire we’re seeing some interesting statistics that are helping the teams to understand the feasibility and longevity of micromobility as a new form of shared transport.

“The results are already showing the potential for positive impacts on air quality and the environment by reducing the use of cars and buses in these populated areas. We’re hoping that now lockdown is easing that more people with e-scoot to work or for leisure purposes.”

There are over 150 e-scooters in Staffordshire operated by Ginger and Zwings. Here are a few user reminders for those looking to hire an e-scooter:

  • E-scooters should be treated as motor vehicles and misuse could result in points on a license. E-scooters should not be used by anyone other than the account holder, who must hold at least a provisional license. (Those hiring e-scooters with Ginger need to be aged 18 and have a provisional, full drivers or motorcycle licence. Those hiring e-scooters with Zwings can do so from the age of 16 but will also need to have in their possession a provisional, full drivers or motorcycle licence.)
  • Anyone found to be under the influence of alcohol while operating a scooter will also be held accountable as would any motor vehicle user.
  • E-scooters should use only the road and designated cycle lanes and not to ride on the pavement.
  • It’s strongly encourages to wear a helmet while using an e-scooter.
  • Privately owned e-scooters are still illegal for use on the public highways.

The trials with e-scooter providers Ginger and Zwings, form part of the Department for Transport trials that were approved by the Government back in July 2020. Through the Live Labs SIMULATE programme, run by SCC and Amey the e-scooter trial forms part of a series of evolving micromobility solutions that are underway to understand the future of shared transport services and a means to enable people to connect more easily and sustainably.

The trial in Staffordshire continues until September 2021.

The ADEPT SMART Places Live Labs programme is a two-year £22.9 million project funded by the Department for Transport and supported by project partners SNC-Lavalin’s Atkins business, EY, Kier, O2, Ringway and WSP. Nine local authorities are working on projects to introduce digital innovation across SMART mobility, transport, highways, maintenance, data, energy and communications. Live Labs is part of ADEPT’s SMART Places programme to support the use of digital technology in place-based services.

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