PEOPLE in Chard and Crewkerne will be able to hop on an electric scooter from Thursday (March 25).
Fleets of e-scooters are being launched in the two towns as an extension of the 12-month trial set up in Yeovil in October.
The Department for Transport-authorised initiative run by South Somerset District Council in partnership with micro-mobility operator Zwings with the aim of cutting car usage.
The scooters will be available to rent from parking bays across the Chard and Crewkerne.
It remains illegal to use privately-owned e-scooters on public roads.
SSDC portfolio holder for environment, Cllr Sarah Dyke, said: “We are very excited to launch the successful DfT e-scooter trial in Crewkerne and Chard.
“The already successful Yeovil e-scooter trial scheme is testament that there is a need for alternative sustainable transport choices to replace short about town solo car journeys.
“It goes without saying that less cars are beneficial for everyone, helping reduce congestion, parking and pollution, and with e-scooting there is the added bonus of being in the fresh open air, which is great for wellbeing.
“We have worked closely with Crewkerne and Chard councillors and key stakeholders, whose valuable input, local knowledge and positive approach has helped to bring the scheme to fruition with micro-mobility operators Zwings, to safely deliver this innovative, sustainable transport choice to residents, visitors and employees of Chard and Crewkerne and we hope they embrace the scheme and all the benefits it will bring.”
Joe Lewin, Zwings chief executive, said: “We recognise that both Chard and Crewkerne are key towns in South Somerset, and our local and head office teams are thrilled to be introducing e-scooters into both locations as phase two to the successful trial hire scheme in Yeovil.
“The Zwings team has enjoyed forming a partnership with South Somerset District Council and local stakeholders through this trial to help the community transition towards decarbonised car alternatives that allow for social distancing, and to reimagine the way they travel from A to B.
“We recognise that the first few months of our launch will be crucial to gain an understanding of the community’s response, and will continually seek to improve the trial experience in order to best suit localised needs, including those of vulnerable groups and the police, with whom we are working closely with.”
HOW ZWINGS WORK:
To use Zwings e-scooters, riders should simply download the app, use their driving license to create an account, locate an e-scooter on the map, and unlock it with the tap of a button. Complete your ride by parking your scooter neatly in any of the designated parking bays. Riding on a Zwings e-scooter will cost £1 to unlock and 15p per minute. Local Zwings teams undertake maintenance, recharge the batteries using a renewable energy tariff, sanitise the e-scooters regularly and deploy the fleet across the towns with an electric van.
ZWINGS COMMITMENT TO SAFETY:
Zwings is continually enhancing its ways to educate riders and enforce rules to encourage safe scooting. From educational stickers and recyclable leaflets on the handlebars through to in-app safety presentation and incentive based questionnaires, Zwings is implementing a number of initiatives and technologies to integrate this new mode of travel to the South Somerset community. The operator encourages riders to commit to safe riding practices and help ensure safe streets for everyone by requesting riders:
- Wear a helmet while riding.
- Abiding by all traffic laws and speed limits.
- Ride only within designated areas such as streets and bike lanes.
- Park properly is a specially designated parking bays.
- Be aware of cars, pedestrians and fellow riders.