People across the West of England are now able to rent an e-scooter and take it home after the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) launched their long-term rental scheme at the end of January.
Long-term e-scooter rentals can be used by residents across Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol and South Gloucestershire, giving residents unlimited access to cost-effective and socially distanced transport.
This scheme complements the hop-on, hop off short-term e-scooter scheme currently available for rides in defined parts of Bath and Bristol, which was launched in October last year.
With long-term rentals, residents can rent an e-scooter for personal use and can keep them at home for an extended period of time, giving them more flexibility to travel from home and move flexibly within the region.
It also reduces the need for short car journeys, which will consequently improve air quality and reduce congestion and users are able to rent a scooter for one or six months, or until the trial ends in late October 2021.
It costs £35 to rent the scooter for one month, with lower rates available for a longer rental period and once the user has been approved, the vehicle delivery will be arranged and alongside the scooter, the user will receive a helmet, a lock and two battery chargers.
Also, the renter will be provided with a user guide with detailed information on how to use, maintain and charge the scooter at home and must have a valid UK driving licence.
Commenting, West of England Mayor, Tim Bowles said the initiative “is another West of England transport first thanks to the Combined Authority”.
He added: “This will offer another practical, flexible and cost-effective alternative to the car for people who want to use the scooter to help us get our region moving.
“It builds on the popularity of our hop-on hop-off e-scooters which we’ve seen growing in Bath and Bristol and offers a socially distanced mode of transport for users outside of the city centres.
Alongside MetroBus, our transformational MetroWest rail network and plans for a regional mass transit, we’re making it easier to get to the jobs and training opportunities that will secure our recovery.”
Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees added: “E-scooters are a great way to travel and I’m delighted that they will now be available to more people in and around Bristol through the flexibility of longer-term rental options across a wider area.
“This trial is providing another low-emission alternative to short car journeys that will help us to deliver clean air, alongside our improvements to bus, walking and cycling journeys across the city and plans for a mass transit public transport system.”
“It’s exciting to see innovative technologies such as this come forward and present a real alternative to using cars. These e-scooters are really convenient and help improve connectivity where existing sustainable transport options are limited.
“Innovations such as this also complement our climate change ambitions as they can potentially help reduce harmful emissions on our roads and improve air quality.”
Privately owned e-scooters remain illegal to use on roads, pavements, parks and any other areas and WECA is working closely with Avon and Somerset Police as part of the trial to ensure that non-compliant behaviour is minimised.