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People in Portsmouth are being asked to share their views on e-scooters, as an opinion survey has launched.

The survey comes ahead of Portsmouth City Council’s trial of rental e-scooters set to launch next month in the city. The council, working with Solent Transport and scooter operator, Voi Technology, is one of a number of local authorities in the Solent region taking part in a trial of legal, rental e-scooters.

The trial provides new sustainable transport in Portsmouth as lockdown restrictions ease and more people can travel. Only rental e-scooters will be legal on public roads when the trial starts and privately-owned e-scooters remain illegal, except on private land.

An important part of the trial is finding out more about peoples’ perception of e-scooters and views on using rental e-scooters as a new transport option. A survey will also be carried out before the end of the trial to gather information on whether perceptions have changed.

Safety is a top priority whilst running a trial for a new form of travel for Portsmouth. This is why there will be clear rules around who can use the e-scooters. People who rent scooters from Voi must 18 or over, hold at least a provisional driving licence and are encouraged to take part in online training. The rental price includes third party motor insurance and personal accident cover for all trips.

The council is also working with the provider Voi Technology to identify no-riding zones – in these areas the scooter will automatically slow to a stop if a rider attempts to enter them. For example, this could include busy shopping centres like Commercial Road.

The e-scooters include unique identification plates and are equipped with bright lights and reflectors for increased visibility. Voi will work closely with the local transport authority to create geofenced areas, including slow riding, no riding, and specific parking areas, to ensure riders and other road users’ safety. In addition, at the start of the trial the e-scooter speed will be limited to 10mph.

Cllr Lynne Stagg, Cabinet Member for Traffic and Transportation, said “I encourage everyone to share their views in the e-scooter opinion survey so that we can make the most of this opportunity to trial a new type of legal travel.

“We are working closely with Voi to make sure the trial is carried out in the safest way possible.

“We are working with the police to help remind people that privately owned e-scooters remain illegal for use on private roads even during the trial of the legal rental e-scooters.

“Later in the trial we’ll survey people again to understand whether opinions of e-scooters have changed in any way. This information will be shared with the Department for Transport as part of a national review of the trials and will contribute to the future of this way of travelling.”

To take part in the e-scooter survey, visit https://www.research.net/r/Escooter_rental_trial