E-scooter trial launches in Portsmouth - here is how it will work

RESIDENTS now have another option for travelling in the city with the launch of a new electric scooter rental scheme.

Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 7:00 am

From today 100 rental e-scooters, supplied by Voi Scooters, will be available at docking stations across Portsmouth, to be used either as a pay-as-you-go or subscription service.

For the first 30 days of the six-month trial the scooters will be limited to 10mph and then 15mph after that, with some locations listed as no-go and go-slow areas. And users will have to be over 18 years old and hold at least a provisional driving licence.

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News reporter Fiona Callingham tries out one of the e-scooters at Portsmouth Guildhall Walk. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Councillor Lynne Stagg, Portsmouth City Council's transport boss, said: 'I am excited to see the rental e-scooter trial get underway as I believe this is an important part of investigating how e-scooters could safely become a part of the way we travel in Portsmouth.'

Users will have to upload to the Voi app when they first register. The app is available for free on Apple app store or Google Play.

The rental e-scooters will cost £1 to unlock and then 20 pence per minute, with 24-hour and 30-day subscriptions available.

And while lockdown is in place, Voi is offering free rides for NHS and emergency service workers, with a 75 per cent discount afterwards.

Voi scooter team, Jon Hamer, Maria Sassetti and Nikolina Kotur on the e-scooters at Portsmouth Guildhall walk. Picture: Habibur Rahman

The scheme has been launched through a partnership between Portsmouth council and Solent Transport.

The chairman of Solent Transport’s joint committee, Cllr Ian Ward, said: 'The Portsmouth scheme of rental e-scooters, is part of a wider program of work being delivered with the aspiration of providing better sustainable transport across the Solent area, making it easier for our residents to do business, get access to services and enjoy their leisure time.

'E-scooters are the first in a number of innovative projects planned as part of the Future Transport Zone, to support economic growth across the region.'

A total of 17 parking racks have been installed across the city and a further seven are being proposed, where riders will start and end their journeys.

These are located at The Hard Interchange, Hilsea station, near the junction of Festing Road and Albert Road, and Lakeside North Harbour, amongst other locations.

The trial has been funded by the Department for Transport.

Privately-owned e-scooters remain illegal to use on roads, pavements, parks and any other areas.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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