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E-scooter trial scheme to launch in Portsmouth and Southampton

March 15, 2021

Residents, visitors and business users in Portsmouth and Southampton will be able to rent a Voi e-scooter from the 16 and 18 March, respectively, as part of a Government led trial to allow people in these cities to access a sustainable and socially distanced mode of travel.

The launch is part of a twelve-month trial funded by the Department for Transport, which began on the Isle of Wight in November 2020. The trial is being led by Solent Transport, a partnership body that includes Portsmouth City Council and Southampton City Council, and Swedish micro-mobility operator Voi Technology. This follows the government’s decision to fast-track rental e-scooter trials across the country to support the green restart of local travel and to explore how best to manage the growth in this new form of personal transport.

Rental e-scooters offer a socially distanced, outdoor mode of transport, particularly relevant while social distancing measures remain in place. They also provide a convenient and accessible mode of transport, ideal for journeys from 1-3 miles or the first and last mile of public transport, reducing the number of short car journeys and consequently improving air quality.

To rent a Voi e-scooter users must be over 18 and hold a provisional or full driving licence and users are strongly encouraged to wear helmets. Rental e-scooters can ride on the same road spaces as bikes, including cycle lanes. The rental e-scooters being used in the trial include unique identification plates and are equipped with bright lights and reflectors for increased visibility.

Privately-owned, unregulated e-scooters will not be included in the trial and remain illegal, except on private land.