Buckinghamshire council claim E-scooter trials 'a resounding success'

It is just over four months since two pilot e-scooters schemes were introduced in Buckinghamshire and early indications show they are proving both popular and successful, say the council.

Tuesday, 20th April 2021, 2:16 pm
Updated Tuesday, 20th April 2021, 2:18 pm
Buckinghamshire Council say the scheme has been successful

In November 2020, Buckinghamshire Council introduced year-long pilot e-scooter schemes in Aylesbury and High Wycombe.

Working in partnership with ZippMobility, 25 e-scooters were set up in each town and made available for people to hire for short journeys in the local area.

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Four months on, the number of e-scooters in operation is 240 as demand has grown and both schemes have taken off, say Buckinghamshire Council,

Insight gathered by BCC shows over the past few months:

Average journeys last around 15 to 20 minutes

Distances travelled range between one and two and a half miles

The most popular times for use are between 2pm and 10pm.

More than 14,000 journeys have been made in Aylesbury and just over 10,000 in High Wycombe.

The pilot schemes were set up as a result of an initiative launched by the Department for Transport (DfT) to support green local travel by trialling the use of e-scooters across the country. The trial period was fast-tracked as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic in order to provide an alternative means of transport for the public.

The Council said 'no major incidents' had been reported either in Aylesbury or High Wycombe.

They did however mention that 'work is ongoing to combat misuse of the e-scooters including incidents of riding on pavements which is not allowed.'

The rule of use are printed onto each scooter and regular communications are sent to users via the app.

Printed registration number stickers are also fitted to the scooters so members of the public can report any misuse.

As a result of misuse a total of three users have been banned in Aylesbury and four in High Wycombe.

Members of the public were asked to give their thoughts on the scheme, and while the council admitted they had a 'general mix of positive and negative comments', the majority of them were negative.

The public were often skeptical of the value of the scheme, the majority claiming 'it's a waste of money' and also complain about the cost of hiring the scooters.

Some also dislike the obstruction to the pavement where parking bays are located.

The positive comments focus on the scheme offering a great alternative way to get around and the way Zipp has dealt quickly and effectively with issues and complaints.

Ian Thompson, Corporate Director for Planning, Growth and Sustainability said: “We are pleased to see our trial e-scooter schemes have taken off so well in both Aylesbury and High Wycombe.

"Our studies show that despite a few minor incidents and negative comments which are to be expected, the schemes have been warmly received in both areas. Residents are discovering that e-scooters offer a new, easy and alternative way to get around town, whether popping to the shops, getting to and from work or for making your way home after an evening out.

"There is still some way to go before we will know if e-scooters are to become a permanent fixture in our towns and cities but it is fantastic to be part of this national pilot exploring alternative and more green modes of transport. In the longer term this feeds into our ambition to improve air quality in Buckinghamshire and reduce carbon emissions."