Portsmouth e-scooters: Voi scheme set to be extended to May 2024

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THE trial allowing the Voi e-scooters scheme in Portsmouth is set to be extended until May 2024.

Councillor Lynne Stagg, the city council cabinet member for transport, will be asked to approve the extension next week with a report saying their use had increased by 65 per cent over the last seven months.

'There are problems with e-scooters, I will be the first to admit it,' she said. 'But those are mainly to do with riders of the privately-owned ones.

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'The sooner we have the legislation in place from the government the better. That will then give the police to better enforce these issues.

A Voi scooter being rode on the pavement on Ordnance Road, Portsea in May 2022A Voi scooter being rode on the pavement on Ordnance Road, Portsea in May 2022
A Voi scooter being rode on the pavement on Ordnance Road, Portsea in May 2022

'E-scooters are a really useful transport option in the city, especially for those shorter journeys and Voi have been really good at addressing concerns we've raised.'

Data collected by Voi up to Thursday, September 15 shows that there have been 252 accidents involving the use of their e-scooters. Most are classed as minor although it said 24 were 'serious'.

However, the council said the real figure was likely to be lower with the Swedish firm including unverified reports in this figure.

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Trial schemes were initially allowed by the government with an end date of March 31, 2022 although this was extended to November before being extended again to May 31, 2024.

In a letter to local authorities, the Department for Transport said trials 'have significant value' as it works to bring in legislation legalising their use under plans to create a new 'low-speed zero-emission' vehicle category. It also set a deadline of October 31 for requests for the latest extension.

Almost 60,000 people have used Voi e-scooters in Portsmouth since the launch of the scheme last year with more than 400,000 rides completed.

A council report said not extending the trial 'could slow progress towards micromobility achieving its true potential in Portsmouth' and its integration with the newly-launched Beryl bike share scheme in the city.

Funding for the scheme is fully-covered by Solent Transport and the decision on whether to extend the trial will be made by Cllr Stagg at her meeting on Thursday (October 20).