Photographer: Saiful Haque

Taunton’s e-scooter trial extends to Bathpool and Monkton Heathfield

Taunton’s e-scooter trial is being extended out to Bathpool and Monkton Heathfield.

The trial, being run by SWT with Zipp Mobility, provides a zero-carbon way to get around town and allow for social distancing. Since the launch in Taunton in October 2020, the scheme has registered over 6,000 users, making a total of more than 15,000 rides to date.

Just 45 days after the trial started the number of miles travelled on e-scooters hit 24,901, the equivalent distance of once around the world. The total number of miles travelled to date has now surpassed 30,000.

The council and Zipp Mobility have also decided to offer free rides for healthcare workers during the lockdown. Healthcare workers need to email from their NHS email address with their location and the email address and phone number associated with their Zipp account.
They will then receive a promo code which can be used in the Zipp Mobility app.

Councillor Peter Pilkington, executive member for climate at SWT, said: “It’s incredible that our e-scooter users have travelled the equivalent of a journey around the world already and even more so that they’ve had such an impact on our carbon footprint in such a short space of time, which is particularly important in line with our commitment to working towards achieving carbon neutrality and climate resilience by 2030.

“Our e-scooters are proving to be so popular that we are expanding the trial area as well as offering free rides to our dedicated frontline workers. They are a perfect way to travel and allow for social distancing for those who need to access work and essential services during the ongoing restrictions.

“I would like to thank e-scooter users for their community-spirited attitude, being aware of and considerate to other road users and pedestrians, while helping to tackle climate change.”

Zipp Mobility CEO Charlie Gleeson added: “The Taunton trial has exceeded our most optimistic projections for ridership and we couldn’t be happier with our team on the ground. They are doing a superb job at meeting this demand. We are also very proud that we are able to operate this scheme in an eco-friendly manner through our use of electric vans to manage and redistribute our fleet of electric scooters.”

Privately owned scooters are not part of the trial and remain illegal apart from on privately owned land.

“Whilst the vast majority of people who are renting the Zipp trial e-scooters are fully complying with the regulations, there still seems to be a lack of awareness of the law amongst those who own their own e-scooters,” said Richard McKiernan, traffic management officer at Avon and Somerset Police.

“Although the police approach has been to educate in the first instance, using a privately owned e-scooter in public commits the offence of No Insurance, which can lead to a large fine and points on your licence. Your e-scooter will also be seized and destroyed as a result. If you want to travel by e-scooter, we would encourage you to register with the trial scheme.”

Zipp has added registration numbers to each e-scooter to assist with the reporting of misuse.

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