THE number of e-scooters rolled out as part of a Chester pilot project is to more than double to 100.
Cheshire west and Chester Council is running the 12-month pilot project with e-scooter provider Ginger as part of a Department for Transport (DfT) initiative to encourage greener travel methods.
Since the pilot began last December, Ginger scooter users have clocked up 64,191 miles around Chester – more than enough to travel two and a half times around the Earth.
Now the scheme is being expanded, with the 40 available e-scooters soon to become 100 across the city, with over 20 new additional dockless parking bays added to improve access at various locations, including Sealand Road Park & Ride.
The new e-scooters will include the upgraded 2.3 model, which incorporates an internal tracking device rather than an external one. They have a dual kickstand rather than single stand to improve stability when stationary, and a tougher rear fender, among other vehicle improvements.
In supporting the successful expansion, Ginger is working in partnership with local business Dandy’s Nationwide Landscape Supplies Ltd, which now provides secure storage, the latest solar panels and Tesla battery charging facilities to power and recharge the e-scooter fleet.
This means that every scoot across the city of Chester on a Ginger rental e-scooter is now 100 per cent powered by the sun.
The pay-as-you-go scooters are hired via a mobile app, that already has 5,810 registered local users who have taken an average of 15 rides each.
The Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for environment, highways and strategic transport, Cllr Karen Shore said: “Our e-scooter trial offers cleaner, efficient and more affordable travel for local communities, complementing the council’s wider transport initiatives.
“As lockdown restrictions are hopefully eased in the future the e-scooters will also help visitors explore our many attractions, supporting the city centre economy.
“The e-scooters have proved to be most popular with residents from Garden Lane who have made 2,287 journeys, followed by White Friars with 1,473 journeys and then Chester Bus Interchange with 1,028 journeys, followed closely by Chester Railway Station with 1,018 journeys.
Councillor Matt Bryan, Cabinet Member for the Climate Emergency explained: “E-scooters offer a healthier, more environmentally friendly alternative to using the car for shorter journeys and will also help tackle air pollution.
“Since the launch it has been calculated that all these e-scooter journeys across the city have saved around 18,836kg of CO2 had those journeys been done in a petrol or diesel car.”
The scooters will not move unless unlocked by a valid driving licence holder, they will cut out if taken into a location that is not approved for their use and there is a speed limiter.
Ginger manages the e-scooters in Chester and full details, FAQs and location maps for the Chester scheme are available on their website.
Users will need to download the Ginger Shared Transport App from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store. The e-scooters cost £2 per 20 minutes of journey time and 50p per 10 minutes of pausing time.
Scooters will continue to charge their user until they are parked properly in a designated e-scooter parking area and the user has ended the ride on the app.
Anyone hiring e-scooters with Ginger needs to be aged 18 or over, with a valid driving licence (full or provisional) or a motorcycle licence. It is a criminal offence to hire the e-scooter for someone else.