E-SCOOTER trials are to start in Colchester this month, it has been revealed.
Colchester will be the third Essex location where the scooters will be available for hire as part of an eco-friendly transport trial.
The trial, which is now running in Chelmsford and Basildon, is set to determine whether the mode of transport can be a viable part of a greener future for Essex.
Essex County Council, Essex Police and e-scooter rental company Spin are running the trials as part of the council’s safer, greener, healthier transport campaign.
The Colchester trials will be starting at the end of this month, a spokesman for Spin has confirmed.
She said: “Colchester is next in line to start trials.
“They will start towards the end of February and we are working with the council to confirm a date.”
The idea behind the trials is to see if Spin, which is owned by Ford, can provide a safe way for electric scooters to be used for travel on public land in the community.
With pilot approval from the Department of Transport now obtained, the trials will see Spin provide and manage an e-scooter rental system in defined areas of Colchester.
The trials will start on a small scale and be evaluated before any expansion.
Emma Bullock, head of roads policing at Essex Police, has reminded anyone who is taking part in the trials to wear a helmet.
Cycling website Freewheel.co.uk, will be providing 5,000 free helmets to Spin riders.
Kellie Parsons, marketing director at Freewheel.co.uk, said: “We are thrilled to be teaming up with Spin and helping to ensure that e-scooter riders are staying safe.
“There’s no doubt that e-scooters are a fantastic, environmentally friendly way of getting around but we need to make sure riders are protected and helmets are a great way to do that.”
She said: “It’s really important to emphasise that if you’re not hiring an e-scooter from Spin as part of the pilot and using it within the areas defined as part of the project, you’ll be breaking the law.”
At present, only Spin scooters hired as part of the trial are legal on Essex’s roads.
Private electric scooters remain illegal, except on private land. To legally ride a Spin e-scooter a driving licence and relevant insurance is needed.
The Spin e-scooters have orange branding so they are easily recognisable from privately owned scooters.
Further details of the Colchester trails are set to be released later this month.