Around the world in less than 80 days
18 January 2021 : Council news, Environment
E-scooter users in the Taunton trial have made enough journeys to travel once around the world and if these rides were replacing car journeys it would be the equivalent of removing an estimated three tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere.
The 12-month trial being run by SWT with Zipp Mobility, an Irish e-scooter operator, provides a zero-carbon way to get around town and allow for social distancing.
Since the launch in Taunton in October 2020 the scheme has registered over 6,000 users, making a total of more than 15,000 rides to date.
Just 45 days after the trial started the number of miles travelled on e-scooters hit 24,901, the equivalent distance of once around the world. The total number of miles travelled to date has now surpassed 30,000.
As a mark of its success the Department for Transport (DfT) approved trial, which remains operational throughout lockdown, is now being extended out to Bathpool and Monkton Heathfield.
The Council and Zipp Mobility have also decided to offer free rides for healthcare workers during the lockdown. Healthcare workers need to email firstname.lastname@example.org from their NHS email address with their location and the email address and phone number associated with their Zipp account.
They will then receive a promo code which can be used in the Zipp Mobility app. For more information visit the climate emergency page of our website.
Cllr Peter Pilkington, Executive Member for Climate at SWT, said: “It’s incredible that our e-scooter users have travelled the equivalent of a journey around the world already and even more so that they’ve had such an impact on our carbon footprint in such a short space of time, which is particularly important in line with our commitment to working towards achieving carbon neutrality and climate resilience by 2030.
“Our e-scooters are proving to be so popular that we are expanding the trial area as well as offering free rides to our dedicated frontline workers. They are a perfect way to travel and allow for social distancing for those who need to access work and essential services during the ongoing restrictions.
“I would like to thank e-scooter users for their community spirited attitude, being aware of and considerate to other road users and pedestrians, while helping to tackle climate change.”
Zipp Mobility CEO, Charlie Gleeson, said: “The Taunton trial has exceeded our most optimistic projections for ridership and we couldn’t be happier with our team on the ground.
"They are doing a superb job at meeting this demand. We are also very proud that we are able to operate this scheme in an eco-friendly manner through our use of electric vans to manage and redistribute our fleet of electric scooters.”
E-scooters are classed as a motor vehicle and can only be used by people over 16 with a provisional or full driving licence when registered as part of a recognised trial.
Anyone using an e-s scooter who is under this age or does not have a driving licence will be breaking the law and could be fined or receive points on their licence, this includes parents who register and give the e-scooter to a child to ride.
Privately owned scooters are not part of the trial and remain illegal apart from on privately owned land.
Richard McKiernan, Traffic Management Officer at Avon and Somerset Police, said: “Whilst the vast majority of people who are renting the Zipp trial e-scooters are fully complying with the regulations, there still seems to be a lack of awareness of the law amongst those who own their own e-scooters.
"Although the Police approach has been to educate in the first instance, using a privately owned e-scooter in public commits the offence of No Insurance, which can lead to a large fine and points on your licence.
"Your e-scooter will also be seized and destroyed as a result. If you want to travel by e-scooter, we would encourage you to register with the trial scheme.”
Zipp have added registration numbers to each e-scooter to assist with the reporting of misuse.
The Zipp Mobility e-scooters have anti-viral handlebar wraps that kill 99.98% of viruses and can help eliminate Covid-19 transmission risk. They are also cleaned daily by the local team based at the Zipp Mobility warehouse in Taunton.
You can hire a Zipp e-scooter from any of the parking bays across Taunton. You will be charged £1 to unlock the e-scooter and 10p per minute thereafter using the Zipp Mobility App.
When you have finished your ride simply take it back to any of the parking bays set up at strategic locations around town. If you have a suggestion for where you would like to see a parking bay please contact Taunton@zippmobility.com.
The trial in Taunton is geofenced which means the e-scooters will only work inside permitted areas. The maximum speed limited for this trial has been limited to 13.5mph, and there are slower zones within the trial area.
E-scooters are only permitted on roads, cycle lanes and cycle tracks only – please do not use them on pedestrian pathways.