Voi calls for transformation in urban development to create clean cities for future generations

Voi Technology is sharing its vision for the future with an image of a regenerated, car-free Lark Lane in Liverpool, as part of World Car Free Day.

Well known as a social hub in Liverpool, with a plethora of cafes, bars, and boutiques, Voi sees Lark Lane as a fine example of how UK cities can reimagine key thoroughfares as green, accessible, and sustainable.

To continue to drive more people to use green modes of transport, reducing reliance on cars for short car journeys, urban infrastructure needs to be rethought in order to create better and healthier cities to live in. This reimagining, by Danish architecture firm JAJA Architects, which aims to complement Voi’s vision, is both eye-opening and refreshing.

Lark Lane reimagined as car-free
With the absence of cars on Lark Lane, the road would be shared by pedestrians of mixed mobility needs, e-scooter, and bikes. There would be parklets to facilitate responsible parking, which would also double up as green social spaces with seats and areas to socialise. Cargo bikes could be used for deliveries to the shops, allowing a total modal shift to non-polluting vehicles.

Although these images are just visionary, Voi has already begun its contribution to a more sustainable form of transport in Liverpool and other cities where it has trials. Working in close collaboration with Liverpool City Region Combined Authority to align with their mission to provide a “Fairer, stronger, cleaner city region”, a recent Voi survey showed that an impressive 42% of Voi’s Liverpool e-scooter users have replaced short car journeys with e-scooters, slightly higher than the UK average which is 39%.

With 60% of car journeys in the UK being used to cover a distance of just 1-2 miles, and the average journey taken by Voi users being a similar distance, it is clear that a Scouse shift is already happening.

Jack Samler, general manager at Voi UK and Ireland, said: “We put our cities first, and we have been bowled over by the long-sighted view that many of our partner cities, including Liverpool, are taking on this move from cars to carbon-free transport. Urban planning has, for too long, revolved around cars.

“However, by working together with local authorities and proactive partners such as World Car Free Day, we are confident that we are moving in the right direction. At present, we are seeing a massive modal shift that is not just for World Car Free Day. It’s here to stay.”

£3 credit offered to first time Voi riders to help people try eco alternatives on World Car Free Day. As part of World Car Free Day, Voi is also offering a £3 credit on 22 and 23 September to people in all UK towns and cities where Voi operates, and who are new to their e-scooters. To access the credit, users need to insert the code CarFreeDay21 on Voi’s app. See terms and conditions below.

This move to share the sustainable and fun way to travel ties in with Voi’s vision to create 15-minute cities, a movement that allows city dwellers to access their essential living needs within a quarter of an hour by walking, biking, taking public transport or a shared micromobility service.

In just one year, Voi has seen over five million rides and over 9 million miles travelled on Voi scooters across the UK’s trial cities, replacing an estimated two million car journeys. The recent extension of the UK trials is a recognition not only of the role micromobility plays in Clean Air Zones, Low Traffic Neighbourhoods and Low Emission Zones but also in driving positive change in cities and reducing the number of short car rides.

Hamish Stewart, co-founder of London Car Free Day, said: “Global action on climate change must accelerate this decade. Cities can lead the way on decarbonising transport and land use and Car Free Day is an important celebration of the potential for more rapid progress in advance of the COP26.

“We believe London can join Paris, Oslo, Edinburgh, and other leading cities who are creating pedestrian-priority city centres, converting land devoted to redundant roads and parking space to more productive, climate secure uses. Shifting more land away from cars in cities would create more space for affordable housing, local businesses, public parks, and new public realm. It is time to be ambitious about the way land-use transitions away from roads and parking in city centres.”

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