E-scooters usage forecast to grow as trial extended across five Essex areas (but not Harlow)

News / Tue 28th Dec 2021 at 08:32am

E-SCOOTER trials in five Essex towns and cities are being extended for another year to allow for more evidence to be gathered as part of planning for their role in the future of sustainable transport.

Figures show that Spin Mobility scooters – the only ones legally permitted in Essex roads – made around £700,000 over the 1,520 days covering the period of the trials up to October 21 2021.

Spin forecasts its turnover will increase to more than £1.2 million by trialling over a total of 2,340 days to November 30, 2022 – an increase from an average of around £462 a day to £520 a day.

Initially trials were expected to operate until October 31 2021 but the Department for Transport requested for trials in Basildon, Braintree, Brentwood, Chelmsford and Colchester be extended until November 30, 2022 to allow for the collection of more evidence of their safety.

The request has been agreed by Essex County Council (ECC).

Trials in Clacton-on-Sea were halted at the end of October 2021 when Tendring District Council decided it no longer wanted it to continue.

However popularity of the scheme varies across the different areas taking part. Chelmsford and Colchester are each expected to account for more than £450,000 of Spin’s turnover for the next 390 days while Brentwood and Braintree will each account for around £1,000.

The e-scooter scheme has been deemed successful though with 577,735 rides being made by over 51,650 individual riders since its launch in December 2020.

Trials so far show that 82 per cent of users took an e-scooter instead of driving alone in a car.

But the DfT is also keen for Spin to provide sufficient numbers of scooters in the right places amidst concerns that when hire e-scooters are removed from locations this will see an increase in the use of illegal personal e-scooters.

A statement to ECC cabinet said: “Schemes have already delivered mode shifts. We need to understand more about this shift and how e-scooters can deliver more.

“Covid meant many launches were delayed and most schemes have only been running for around nine months or less.

“To make an evidence-based decision on the future of e-scooters and their role in the future of sustainable transport, we need more robust data on types of journeys undertaken, demographics, suitability of mode in different weather conditions, the value of discount initiatives, and opportunities to trialling new technology.

“Essex has been selected by the Department of Transport as a focus area for more in-depth evidence gathering. DfT are keen that we extend.”

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3 Comments for E-scooters usage forecast to grow as trial extended across five Essex areas (but not Harlow):

2021-12-28 12:34:09

The sooner Govt recognises that ebikes and scooters are the future of sustainable transport the better..ill be getting one ...Legal or not..(don't worry..I won't be knocking over the blind or elderly). Like the majority of Harlow residents, I don't have the benefit of a drive or carport so charging a electric car is untenable...

2021-12-28 16:49:22

Might our Council opt in and extend the scheme to include electric buggies with speed limiters, they are size of the 1 and 2 seater old tiny bubble cars and are being manufactured abroad, but surely the uk has companies that can do even better. They take up little space, can be charged from an ordinary socket, provide dry weatherproof alternatives for the elderly, infirm, disabled and those who just don't like to balance on a scooter or bicycle. Hggt at Gilston and Harlow would be great places to start, where the intention is to reduce car traffic by 60%, they are small enough to use existing and new cycleways and bus lanes. As the figures already show people are more than prepared to leave the car at home and use e vehicles.

2021-12-28 17:34:50

Joss, ebikes are sustainable and the future as opposed to what? If you’re comparing against traditional fuel vehicles, yes, they’re environmentally better - but only by a margin. The cost and required work to get lithium and have it processed etc is harmful too. The more sustainable and traditional route would be to use a normal non-powered vehicle such as a traditional bike or, heaven forbid - use your legs. Go for a run.

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