THE launch of an electric scooter trial in Colchester is now only a matter of weeks away.
There are currently trials up and running in Chelmsford and Basildon, and they are being carried out to determine whether the mode of transport can be a viable part of a greener future for Essex.
Who is running the trial?
Essex County Council, Essex Police and e-scooter rental company Spin are running the scheme as part of the council’s safer, greener, healthier transport campaign.
The Colchester trial is scheduled to start at the end of this month, but a specific date has not been confirmed yet.
The trials will start on a small scale and be evaluated before any expansion.
A map of the Colchester’s trial area is set to be released.
Essex County Council will enable everyone to give their views and experience during the trial.
As well trialling how safe the scheme can be for those using the electric scooters, it is also designed to measure the impact it could have on all road users.
Do I need to wear a helmet?
As part of the scheme, cycling website Freewheel.co.uk will be providing 5,000 free helmets to Spin riders.
Although it’s not a legal requirement in the UK, all riders are encouraged to wear a helmet.
Steve Pyer, UK country manager at Spin said: “We’re committed to rider safety and have a responsibility to riders to not only exceed vehicle safety standards but also educate them on safety best practices.
“Wearing a helmet is vital to personal safety on an e-scooter and by providing free Lazer helmets we hope every Spin rider in Essex will wear one while scooting around their local area.”
What are the rules with hiring an e-scooter?
Only Spin scooters hired as part of this trial are legal on Essex roads.
Private scooters remain illegal, except on private land.
Spin e-scooters are legally allowed to go anywhere that bicycle are legally allowed to go – so they are not allowed on pavements.
You must have a driving licence and relevant insurance to legally ride a Spin e-scooter, and you must be 18 or over.
The Spin e-scooters have bright orange branding to make them easily recognisable.
Anyone wanting to hire an e-scooter will get compulsory training before they can hire one – booking cannot be secured until training is completed.
Once training is finished, the e-scooters can be booked through a free web app provided by Spin.
The scooters can operate at a maximum speed of 15.5mph.