Voi has extends its contract to operate e-scooter trials in Northamptonshire until 2024.
Swedish micromobility firm Voi currently operates in 16 regions across the UK, including in Bath, Cambridge and Liverpool.
As the Government’s initial e-scooter trial period came to an end last month, authorities have been able to decide whether to continue to sanction schemes in their area.
West and Northamptonshire councils have now both agreed to extend Voi’s contract until 2024.
Grace Packard, senior policy manager at Voi UK and Ireland, said: “Today’s announcement extending our scheme is exciting news for our riders and the people of Northamptonshire.
“Over the last two years, Voi has collaborated closely with stakeholders, including the Northamptonshire Police and West and North Northamptonshire Councils, to increase public confidence in using e-scooters and e-bikes to such an extent that the scheme has quickly become an important part of the region’s fabric and one of the most popular in the UK.
“However, we won’t rest on our laurels. Delivering a safe service, which is convenient, green and a great alternative to the car remains our number one priority. Over the next 18 months, we will work hard to build upon our success to help deliver the region’s sustainability ambitions and create a better place for living.”
Voi’s schemes will continue to operate in Northampton, Corby, Wellingborough, Rushden, Higham Ferrers, and Kettering, with both e-bikes and e-scooters on offer.
A recent economic report commissioned by Voi found that North Northamptonshire is likely to benefit by £5m from the scheme by 2024, whilst the towns that Voi operates its service in across West Northamptonshire are likely to see an economic uplift of around £10m over the same period from 2020.
Cllr Phil Larratt, cabinet member for environment, transport, highways and waste at West Northamptonshire Council, added: “It is good news for West Northamptonshire that this popular scheme has been extended until May 2024. It offers a more sustainable and cost-effective way to travel, helping to support our objective to reduce emissions.
“I would encourage people to give Voi’s authorised scooter scheme a go, rather than opting for private, unregulated scooters which are illegal to use on public highways. We feel that the trial has been a continued success for the environment over the past two years and continues to evolve and increase in popularity as residents look at more convenient and eco-friendly ways to get around.
“However, we recognise the concerns of residents regarding scooters being ridden inappropriately and on footpaths, as well as being parked on footways, obstructing pedestrians. We will continue to work with Voi over the extended period of the trial to overcome these concerns.”
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Cllr Graham Lawman, North Northamptonshire Council’s executive member for highways, travel and assets, said: “Over the next 18 months, I hope that there will be increased confidence in using Voi and more residents are able to start using rental e-scooters and e-bikes as their preferred method of transport, which will only have a further benefit to the environment and air quality. With increasing energy and other costs, using a Voi can also help commuters save money.
“As part of agreeing to the extension until May 2024, we have worked with Voi towards additional safety measures, so I would like to take this opportunity to remind users to remain safe whilst out and about, especially over the winter months and with the shorter days. Included in this is easier reporting of e-scooter misuse, so I would urge people to do this through the company’s https://report.voi.com/ webpage.
“Voi e-scooters and e-bikes are now a common sight in certain towns across North Northamptonshire, so I know drivers are becoming used to them, but please do remain vigilant and aware of the scheme so we can all stay safe.”