THE public rental of eco-friendly electric scooters – which offer “huge potential” in the fight against climate change – is now being trialled in a seaside town.
Spin, which is owned by Ford, has today launched its pilot e-scooter scheme in Clacton, following other initial trials in Colchester and across Essex.
The idea behind the initiative is to see whether or not the company can provide a safe way for electric scooters to be used for travel on public land in the community.
The trials, managed by Essex County Council in partnership with the likes of Tendring Council and Essex Police, are part of a campaign to combat climate change.
The nippy scooters have so far been used more than 15,000 times and from Monday 50 scooters will be available to hire from a geo-fenced area in Clacton town centre.
NHS workers in the town, however, are able to benefit from a free 30-minute ride from today as part of Spin’s Everyday Heroes programme.
If the Clacton pilot is successful, local residents needing to make essential trips will be given priority before the scheme is opened up to everyone after lockdown.
Alex Porter, Tendring councillor responsible for leisure and tourism, said: “We are pleased to be part of this pilot scheme, the learning from which will guide national policy on e-scooters.
“These have huge potential to support our work to tackle climate change locally by allowing an alternative to cars and buses, therefore reducing local emissions, as well as supporting people to get out and explore our parks, seafront and town centre.
“I would like to remind people that this is a pilot scheme – and it is important that we fully engage with the process so we can pick up any issues or learning points so everyone can benefit.”
Clacton residents’ first ride will be limited to a speed of 10mph to support the safety of first-time riders and other road users.
Some high-traffic areas, including Pier Avenue and the promenade, will also be “slow-ride-zones” where a permanent 10mph speed limit will be enforced.
Others area, including the Clacton Pier, will be classed as “no-ride-zones”.
Riding will cost 20p per minute with no “unlock” fee and daily, weekly, and monthly passes will be eventually available to those who would like to ride regularly.
Any e-scooter which is not part of this trial remains illegal to use other than on private land which must not be accessible to the public.
Councillor Kevin Bentley, deputy leader of Essex County Council and cabinet member responsible for infrastructure, added: “We are in the first wave nationally to safely introduce this innovative service to people in Essex.
“This is another option for residents, workers and anyone interested in getting around locally in Clacton and the other trial areas, to reconsider how they could travel more sustainably, removing congestion from our local streets and doing so in a way that will improve air quality.
“We will intensively monitor Tendring’s scheme with Spin, looking particularly closely at safety and environmental issues. I am hopeful it will prove to be a great success, but we will not hesitate to pause any scheme if we identify significant problems – that is the point of having a trial. I hope many people will try out the Spin scooters.”
To find out more visit and download the Spin app visit spin.app