Steve Pyer, UK general manager at Spin, said: “We are excited to see the rapid rate of Essex residents adopting this greener, faster alternative to car travel – it’s clear that e-scooters have become an integral part of the local transport ecosystems for many.”
Since the trial began in December 2020, over 1,000 NHS workers have been given free rides through the company’s Everyday Heroes programme.
Half-price rides have been given to almost 100 low-income individuals and over 400 students studying at the University of Essex, Anglia Ruskin University and Writtle University College.
A key objective of the trial was to gather vulnerable road users’ feedback. Spin, Essex Country Council and fifteen local accessibility groups therefore set up the Essex E-Scooter Trial Access Stakeholder Group. This brings together non-profit groups such as the Royal Association for Deaf people and Guide Dogs UK. Some of the issues that have been addressed at the meetings include inappropriate parking of e-scooters and anti-social behaviour.
“Community organisations are pleased that during the first year, Spin and the local authorities established this stakeholder group,” said Peter Blackman, chair of the Essex E-scooter Trial Stakeholder Group.
“We coordinated feedback from Essex residents, visitors, vulnerable people and local groups, and have addressed issues that have been raised, leading to increased safety. If legislation continues to authorise e-scooters, all schemes must have groups like this to ensure that vulnerable people and the public have the ear of operators, as this has proved to be invaluable.”
Safety is of paramount importance to Spin, which is why it has organised 26 free training events in Essex, attracting more than 800 members of the public to participate. The company has also handed out 1,500 free helmets to its riders in Essex since launching.
The trial in Essex is now due to end in November 2022 following a recent extension announcement.
Steve Pyer commented: “E-scooters are a crucial mode of transport to help keep UK cities moving, especially during times when we may want to keep more social distance. We will continue to work closely with the local authorities and various stakeholder groups to ensure continued success of the trials.”