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RNIB joins e-scooter training and education event

30 March 2022 : Council news, Community safety, Environment

Somerset West and Taunton Council is holding an e-scooter training and education event with support from the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB).

The event on Friday 1 April is part of efforts by the Council and operator Zipp Mobility to continuously improve the service as well as educate the public on the safe use of e-scooters.

The e-scooter trial in Minehead is proving to be popular among residents and visitors to the coastal community.

It has seen more than 16,900 rides by over 6,200 riders who have travelled almost 27,000 miles since it began on 5 June 2021, removing an estimated 3.7 tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere when compared with a fossil fuel powered vehicle.

While e-scooters offer a cleaner, greener way to get around in line with SWT’s commitment to working towards achieving carbon neutrality and climate resilience by 2030, the emphasis is on safety with e-scooter users being aware of and considerate to other road users and pedestrians.

RNIB are working with SWT and Zipp Mobility to attempt to make the trials safer for blind and partially sighted pedestrians.

Steve Hyde, RNIB’s Regional Campaigns Officer for the South West of England, will be at Minehead Railway Station at 1pm to give a presentation on various eye conditions and the different types of canes available, with a demonstration on how they are used.

He will then host a blindfold walk from the station and up The Avenue towards Wellington Square where representatives from both SWT and Zipp Mobility will be holding the training event and answering questions between 12 noon and 2pm.

Anyone who comes along and registers a new account on the day will receive a £5 credit to have a test drive but will need a driving licence and bank card to verify their account.

The Minehead trial currently has 40 e-scooters located across the town at 27 approved parking bays.

Bay numbers have increased since the launch with requests for additional bays coming from local businesses wanting a parking bay close to their place of work for commuting staff and visitors.

The Zipp Mobility e-scooters operate from 5.30am until 10.30pm, seven days a week, and can only be used by people over the age of 16 with a provisional or full driving licence.

It costs £1 to unlock the e-scooter and 15p per minute thereafter using the Zipp Mobility App.

The trial in Minehead is 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 just over 15.5 mph, and there are some slower zones within the trial area too.

For more information on the training session please contact