Spin has launched its public hire e-scooter trial in Clacton-on-Sea – its fifth location in the UK following Colchester, Chelmsford, Basildon and Milton Keynes.
So far, more than 15,000 rides have been taken in Essex since launch. This is part of the managed pilot trials that Essex County Council is leading on in partnership with Spin, district, borough and city councils and Essex Police, and is part of its Safer, Greener, Healthier transport campaign.
Spin’s Everyday Heroes programme will be available immediately for Clacton-on-Sea NHS workers to benefit from free 30-minute e-scooter rides to get to work and home. So far, more than 70 NHS workers have registered for the programme in Colchester, Basildon, Chelmsford and Milton Keynes.
50 e-scooters are available for hire in a geofenced area in the town, covering the centre and surrounding area. Spin is looking to engage with NHS facilities to discuss potential e-scooter parking areas nearby for easier access for riders to their facilities. This marks the beginning of a phased rollout of Spin’s fleet that will be managed in close collaboration with Tendring District Council and Essex County Council. In the beginning, it will be aimed at local residents needing to make essential trips. As we move out of the lockdown, all residents will be welcome to enjoy this new means of transport.
Everyone’s first ride will be limited to 10mph speed to support the safety of first-time riders and other road users. Additionally, some high-traffic areas, including Pier Avenue and the promenade, will be “slow-ride-zones”, with a permanent 10mph speed limit enforced through geofencing technology while others, including the Pier, will be a “no-ride-zone”. Detailed information about where to ride is available in the Spin App.
Riding will cost 20p per minute with no “unlock” fee. Daily, weekly and monthly passes will be also available to those who would like to ride regularly when government restrictions ease around essential travel.
“We are pleased to be part of this pilot scheme, the learning from which will guide national policy on e-scooters,” said councillor Alex Porter, Tendring District Council cabinet member for leisure and tourism. “These have huge potential to support our work to tackle climate change locally by allowing an alternative to cars and buses, therefore reducing local emissions, as well as supporting people to get out and explore our parks, seafront and town centre.
“I would like to remind people that this is a pilot scheme – and it is important that we fully engage with the process so we can pick up any issues or learning points so everyone can benefit.”
Steve Pyer, UK country manager at Spin, said: “Prior and during lockdown, we have seen a good uptake in our services suggesting that residents and essential workers appreciate the socially distanced transport mode. We are pleased to be able to expand our support to the NHS workers in Clacton-on-Sea in addition to Colchester, Chelmsford, Basildon and Milton Keynes.”
Pyer added: “Safety of our riders and all road users remains our priority. As a reminder, riders must be 18+ years old and have a provisional or full driving licence. Otherwise, they will not be covered by insurance and will be riding illegally. All riders will need to complete several safety training modules before their first rides and we encourage them to wear helmets, which we can provide for free.”
Councillor Kevin Bentley, deputy leader of Essex County Council and cabinet member for infrastructure, said: “We are in the first wave nationally to safely introduce this innovative service to people in Essex. This is another option for residents, workers and anyone interested in getting around locally in Clacton and the other trial areas, to reconsider how they could travel more sustainably, removing congestion from our local streets and doing so in a way that will improve air quality.
“We will intensively monitor Tendring’s scheme with Spin, looking particularly closely at safety and environmental issues. I am hopeful it will prove to be a great success, but we will not hesitate to pause any scheme if we identify significant problems – that is the point of having a trial. I hope many people will try out the Spin scooters.”