Voi confirms rentable e-scooter trial will continue in Northamptonshire until at least March 2022

The red scooters will be in place for at least another six months

By Carly Odell
Tuesday, 21st September 2021, 11:16 am
Voi e-scooters will remain in the county for at least another six months.
Voi e-scooters will remain in the county for at least another six months.

A date to which the rentable e-scooters trials in Northamptonshire have been extended to has been announced.

Voi has confirmed that the trials in Northampton, Wellingborough, Corby, Kettering, Rushden and Higham will continue until at least March 2022.

The news comes after this newspaper revealed last month that the decision had been made to extend the trial on a ‘rolling basis’ prior to the announcement of a confirmed date.

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Cllr Graham Lawman, North Northamptonshire executive member for Highways, Travel and Assets (middle), Cllr Jonathan Nunn, Leader of West Northamptonshire Council (right), and Sam Pooke, Senior Public Policy Manager at Voi UK and Ireland (left).

Rentable e-scooters initially launched in Northampton on September 3 last year. Other towns across the county followed at later dates.

The trial has not been without its issues, including underage riders, scooters blocking pavements and more, but councillors are assuring the public that work will continue to look into the problems.

Sam Pooke, senior public policy manager at Voi UK and Ireland, said: “It has been such an exciting year working with West and North Northamptonshire Councils, contributing to this transformation of the town and surrounding areas into a cleaner, and more sustainable environment.

“It takes time and a lot of collaboration to cater for and respect all of Northamptonshire’s needs when it comes to making micromobiliy work for everyone.

“We are delighted to have been given more time to build on this, and will continue to listen to our users, local community, and key stakeholders, such as disability and visually impaired groups to ensure micromobility can work for everyone.

“This trial extension will be invaluable, and can only help to strengthen an already proactive and prodigious collaboration.”

According to Voi, there have been more than 835,000 rides since the launch of the trial in the county, with more than 1.2 million miles covered.

This equates to 190 tonnes of CO2 emissions prevented and 410,000 car journeys replaced, which council officials say is working towards their aim to be carbon neutral by 2030.

Councillor Jonathan Nunn, Leader of West Northamptonshire Council, said: “As with any new scheme that’s introduced, we know some people have had concerns, particularly around scooter parking and riding on pavements and we’re working closely with our partners to try to address these issues, and use enforcement against inappropriate use where necessary.

“But I would encourage people to give Voi’s safe, authorised scooter scheme a go, rather than opting for private, unregulated scooters which are illegal to use on public highways.

“We feel that the trial has been a real success over the past year and continues to evolve and increase in popularity as residents look at more convenient and eco-friendly ways to get around.

“Most importantly, our council has made a climate commitment to be carbon neutral by 2030, and that’s a really important but challenging commitment.

“Using innovation and sustainable transport plays a key role in this bold vision.”

Councillor Graham Lawman, North Northamptonshire executive member for Highways, Travel and Assets, added: “As you can see from the numbers this pilot has been popular with thousands of people regularly enjoying this affordable green transport alternative.

“When the scooters were first introduced in Northamptonshire, we knew there would be some misuse and a pilot allows us to test and tweak the scheme so that it works for everyone.

“Both Voi and the Council are planning to continue to both educate and enforce to ensure the scheme has the best outcomes for all.

“There’s exciting potential here and an opportunity for e-scooters and other forms of electric transport to grow and become a major part of our commitment to addressing climate issues through new technology," he continued.