SOUTHAMPTON residents have been encouraged to use e-scooters as a trial is now under way and will run until November.
A total of 50 rental e-scooters are now available at five docking stations across the city.
It comes as a seven-month trial began yesterday.
Residents will be able to hire electric scooters at Southampton Central Station North, the SeaCity Museum, Guildhall Square, the University of Southampton and the Highfield Campus and Wessex Lane.
The trial was approved by the Department for Transport at the end of last year.
Sending a message to residents, Cllr Steve Leggett, cabinet member for green city and place at Southampton City Council, said: “Let’s embrace this trial as we come out of lockdown. I think this is a very exciting moment. This gives us an alternative transport which is green.”
He said feedback from the trial will be used by the government to set new legislation.
Cllr Leggett added: “This type of trial gives more evidence about how it can be used properly and we are trying to place these at key locations.”
He said it will be when lockdown restrictions are eased that civic chiefs will be able to see the full benefits of the trial.
When asked whether he would encourage residents to use e-scooters responsibly, he said: “I think the trial will go well, I am confident.We want the trial to be a success.”
But he stressed that privately-owned, unregulated e-scooters remain illegal, except on private land.
The e-scooters are being supplied by Voi Scooters and can only be ridden in the area of Southampton between Guildhall Square and the University of Southampton and Wessex Lane.
However, people will not be able to ride e-scooters in city parks and the Common.
But civic chiefs said the decision will be kept under review and more parking racks will be installed as the trial progresses.
Within the earmarked area there will also be no-ride zones and slow-speed zones. Transport bosses said when a user travels out of the operational zone the e-scooter will slow and stop.
E-scooters will not exceed 10mph and will be slower in some areas.
Residents will be able to hire e-scooters from 6am to 10pm, either as a pay-as-you-go or subscription service.
Its will cost £1 to unlock and then £0.14 per minute of usage.