The trail scheme for e-scooters in Northamptonshire is being extended until November, it has been announced.
Voi first launched the e-scooters in Northampton around 18 months ago but it has since been extended to other areas of the county, including Corby, Rushden Higham Ferrers, Wellingborough and Kettering. Kettering also had e-bikes introduced into the town.
The scheme has not been without its problems, with complaints about some of those people using the e-scooters and pedestrians after scooters were left abandoned on pavements.
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Voi says 'ridership' has reached nearly 1.6 million, covering 2.3 millions miles since September 2020.
And now both West Northamptonshire Council and North Northamptonshire Council have agreed to extend the trial for another eight months.
Jack Samler, general manager for UK and Ireland at Voi Technology, said: “It has been such an exciting year working with West and North Northamptonshire Councils and we are delighted to have been given more time to build our vision of a cleaner, greener future for living.
“Over the next six months it’s critical we build on our success to show how micromobility is not only safe, convenient and sustainable, but can truly shape the way we live and get around. The extension is a vote of confidence in our ability to deliver a service for all, and we’ll continue to work with our riders, local community and key stakeholders, such as the police, to ensure micromobility is at the heart of Northamptonshire.
“This trial extension will be invaluable and can only help to strengthen an already proactive and prodigious collaboration. We are delighted to be continuing our Northamptonshire Voi-age.”
Councillor Jonathan Nunn, Leader of West Northamptonshire Council said: “E-scooters have become a familiar sight on the streets of Northampton and thousands of people really seem to enjoy using them and the freedom they provide. One of the key aspects of this trial has been not only to gauge the popularity of this kind of transport option but also to assess safety aspects.
“For the most part, we know users are being extremely responsible when riding licensed e-scooters, and we’re continuing to work with Voi to address continuing issues with a minority who misuse them, with tighter controls already in place, plus penalties for those who act irresponsibly.
“But as we see more and more local people using Voi scooters as an alternative to their car for short trips to work or leisure, we know that this scheme is giving them a convenient way to travel locally as well as having a positive impact on the environment.”
Councillor Graham Lawman, North Northamptonshire Council’s executive member for highways, travel and assets said: “As a a council, we have declared a desire to be carbon neutral by 2030, so it is great that we have been able to extend the trial until November 2022. With more and more people using e-scooters and e-bikes across North Northamptonshire, we will hopefully see a reduction in the number of car journeys, which can only be good for the environment.
“As part of agreeing to the extension of the trial, we have sought additional safety measures, including easier reporting of illegal riding or bad parking, so I would also like to take this opportunity to remind users to remain safe whilst out and about and to be considerate to others.”