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Minehead e-scooter trial goes live

03 June 2021 : Council news, Community, Environment

Minehead’s e-scooter trial will be going live on Saturday 5 June providing a zero carbon green alternative to get around the town for both residents and visitors to the area.

SWT was given approval from the Department for Transport (DfT) to extend the e-scooter trial into Minehead in line with its commitment to working towards achieving carbon neutrality and climate resilience by 2030.

The Council previously appointed Zipp Mobility to run the Taunton trial which went live at the end of October 2020 creating new jobs within the district, including an area-wide operations manager based at the Zipp warehouse in Taunton.

The Zipp operations team will be on Warren Road, Minehead (opposite the junction with Seaward Way) from 12pm until 4pm this Saturday, 5 June.

They will be on hand to speak to interested users all about the trial including how to register and use an e-scooter for the first time. They will also be giving away free safety helmets for anyone who comes by to say hello.

The DfT has stipulated that only the rental e-scooters involved in the trials can be used in public areas.

The trial will start gradually with 25 e-scooters and can scale up based on demand. The e-scooters will operate from 6.30am until 10.30pm, seven days a week, and can only be used by people over 16 with a provisional or full driving licence.

It will cost £1 to unlock the e-scooter and 10p per minute thereafter using the Zipp Mobility App

The trial in Minehead will be geofenced which means the e-scooters will only work inside permitted areas. The maximum speed of e-scooters in the SWT trial is limited to 20kmph or just over 12mph, and there will be some slower zones within the trial area too.

There will be virtual parking bays at approved locations around Minehead, although the Council welcomes suggestions from members of the public on where they would like to see virtual parking bays, and from businesses or landowners who would welcome a virtual bay on their land. To make a comment or suggestion contact info@zippmobility.com

Cllr Dixie Darch, Executive Member for Climate Change, said: “Following the success of our Taunton trial to date, we are pleased to be able to launch this climate friendly public transport in Minehead.

“Our emphasis will be on safety both for e-scooter users and the general public. We really hope that people will see the advantage of getting around town in a cleaner, greener way while being aware of and considerate to other road users and pedestrians. I believe this climate-conscious, community-spirited attitude will be the key to our success.”

Charlie Gleeson, Founder and CEO at Zipp Mobility said, “Following the successful trial of our existing e-scooter offering in Taunton, SWT has committed to expanding greener, more accessible transport solutions for its community. This further endorsement of Zipp’s offering will see safe, sustainable and affordable transport being offered to more users."

Will O’Brien, VP of Growth and Government Affairs, Zipp Mobility added, “Working with SWT, we are promoting a model of ‘mobility done right’ with sustainability and safety playing a key role. We encourage people to attend our safety demonstrations or pick up a helmet this Saturday, as we look forward to working with the community of Minehead to promote sustainable mobility.”

Richard McKiernan, Traffic Management Officer at Avon and Somerset Police, said “I would like to remind anyone who has their own e-scooter that their use remains illegal other than on private land with the land owner’s permission, and it could be seized if you use it on a road or public area.

“E-scooters are classed as a motor vehicle and even the trial ones can only be used by people over 16 with a provisional or full driving licence. Anyone using an e-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”.