Solent region’s e-scooter trial approved to continue until May 2024
As part of the trial extension, Solent Transport will continue to monitor rental e-scooter usage, working closely with local stakeholders in Portsmouth, Southampton and the Isle of Wight to ensure that communities can provide feedback to the trial.
Credit: Southampton City Council
Solent Transport has announced that Portsmouth City Council, Southampton City Council and the Isle of Wight Council have all approved an extension of the region’s e-scooter trial, in line with recently updated Department for Transport (DfT) guidance that allows local authority trials to continue until May 2024.
E-scooters have been available in the Isle of Wight since November 2020 and in Portsmouth and Southampton since March 2021. The trial has been very well received, with over 139,000 registered users riding a total of 1.37 million trips. Together these trips have covered just under 3.6 million kilometres, with an average ride time of just less than 15 minutes in Portsmouth and Southampton, and more than 18 minutes on the Isle of Wight.
The trial aims to help reduce congestion, reduce CO2 emissions, improve air quality and inspire sustainable travel choices across the Solent region. Currently there are 118 e-scooters available in the Isle of Wight, over 800 in Portsmouth and 1,400 in Southampton.
E-scooters can be hired using Breeze, the new transport app for the Solent region, as well as the Voi Technology and Beryl apps. Every e-scooter has a unique registration number, with geofencing technology used to track their location.
In order to hire an e-scooter, riders must have a driving licence and be at least aged 18. Users are encouraged to wear a helmet and take virtual safety training via the mobile phone apps before their first ride. A range of payment options are available, including pay as you go, daily and monthly passes and minute bundles.
Councillor Lynne Stagg, Chair of the Solent Transport Joint Committee and Cabinet Member for Traffic and Transportation at Portsmouth City Council, said: “The Solent Future Transport Zone is providing more and better travel options across the Solent region. As we face a global climate emergency, it’s more important than ever that our residents have access to more sustainable ways to travel.”
Councillor Phil Jordan, Deputy Chair of the Solent Transport Joint Committee and Cabinet Member for Transport at Isle of Wight Council, said: “We are pleased with the extension for the provision of e-scooters. E-scooters have proved to be a successful addition to the island’s infrastructure with more than 18,000 users making more than 120,000 journeys. It is good to see even more transport options available in the towns and cities of the Solent region and the continuation of the e-scooter trial complements the recent launch of Beryl Bikes by Breeze.”
Councillor Eamonn Keogh, Cabinet Member for Transport and District Regeneration at Southampton City Council, said: “We are so excited that the e-scooter trial will continue across Southampton. Commuters and visitors to the city can travel around sustainably and at ease with the choice of the rental e-scooters by Voi and our new bike-share scheme Beryl Bikes by Breeze, both accessed using the new app Breeze, which also includes a journey planner.”
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