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Source: City of Derby

50 electric scooters will be made available for key workers travelling to and from work in Derby during a 12-month trial starting this month.

Wind Mobility has been chosen to operate schemes in both Derby and Nottingham, offering a new, greener travel option to help mitigate congestion, improve air quality and provide affordable travel options.

Key workers will be able to hire an e-scooter, at a discounted rate of £30 per month, for a minimum of a month, and up to one year.   Key workers can express their interest using the online form, but must be over 16 years old and hold at least a provisional driving licence.

As part of the response to COVID-19, the Department for Transport (DfT) has made changes that allow e-scooters to be used on public roads, using the same road space as cyclists. These legislation changes only apply to DfT approved schemes and not privately owned e-scooters.

The safety of both the e-scooter users, and other road users has been a key consideration. One of the main benefits of the scheme is the ability to create ‘low speed’ or ‘no go’ zones. For instance, the operator will create slow-go zones in the main pedestrian areas within the city centre.

Safety training, locks and helmets will be provided to all users and the e-scooters are highly visible with a range of safety features. In addition, hand sanitiser will also be provided on each scooter and safety risks reviewed regularly throughout the trial.

As well as taking a more targeted approach to reduce the risk of theft or vandalism, the e-scooters will also be fitted with technology that means they won’t operate outside of certain boundaries, and the operator is able to track the scooters to ensure proper use.

Councillor Matthew Holmes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Planning and Transportation at Derby City Council, said:

“I am pleased that Derby has been selected to trial this Government scheme, which means that e-scooters are a new alternative choice for green travel in our city. There’s no doubt that they offer a cheap and clean way to travel around Derby, improving not just the air quality in our city, but also the user’s physical and mental health at a time when that is more important than ever.

“There are likely to be a few teething problems to work out, as you’d expect with the introduction of new transport modes. We’ve listened and will continue to listen to any feedback as the trial progresses. Hearing the views and experiences of the users themselves, cyclists, other road users and pedestrians is going to be vital to the trial’s success.

“E-scooters are certainly becoming a more popular choice for people, so it’ll be interesting to see whether they’re embraced and become as common as bicycles in Derby!”

Eric Wang, CEO and co-founder of Wind Mobility, said:

“Winning the tender to operate in Derby and Nottingham is a true honour.

“Wind brings wealth of experience, with over 40 city launches across Europe, Middle East and Asia. We have fine-tuned the recipe for a successful trial in the East Midlands. Safety, stability and sustainability are the three Ss that guide Wind’s considerate and inclusive approach to working with cities. We want our service to benefit all members of the community, and help make cities even greater places to live, work and visit.

“User training and education are key to a successful trial, which is why we are conducting several public safety events per month where our teams demonstrate how to use the scooter correctly. Our dedicated local teams work around the clock to swiftly move in and reposition any wrongly parked scooters and will engage with the community to respond to its questions and concerns.

“We are proud to offer the most sustainable and reliable scooter, with the longest life cycle in the industry of three years and a battery capacity that is double the industry standard. It is our most stable and smoothest yet: it is more visible, larger, heavier, and equipped with a wider non-slip platform and highly performant bicycle-style hand brakes guaranteeing safer journeys for our users and all other street users. The double kickstand will ensure the scooter stands up right and will help keep streets obstacle-free.”

Supporting the scheme, Amanda Solloway, MP for Derby North added:

“I am delighted that Derby has been chosen to trial e-scooters. It’s a great step forward for the environment and brings with it many benefits such as lower congestion and cleaner air.

I really hope we can embrace them as a city as the trials begin this month and would encourage our key workers to sign up and give them a go.”

More information on the scheme is available on our website.

MIL OSI United Kingdom