Portsmouth is one of a number of cities taking part in a national trial of rental e-scooters. Portsmouth City Council is working with Solent Transport and e-scooter provider, Voi Technology, to provide rental trials in Portsmouth and Southampton as part of the Future Transport Zone Programme. The trials form part of a national approach to building a more sustainable travel network.
The Department for Transport has made it legal to ride rental e-scooters during the government trial, however, privately-owned e-scooters remain illegal, except on private land with the land owner’s permission.
Since the launch of the trial, and as part of their Voi 4 Heroes programme, Voi has provided free rides to NHS staff and key emergency workers. To date, key workers have benefitted from over 3,000 free rides in Portsmouth. As the trial expands to include new parking racks at Queen Alexandra Hospital and St Mary’s Hospital, more NHS staff can take advantage of the discounts to travel easily for work or leisure.
Cllr Lynne Stagg, Cabinet Member for Traffic and Transportation, said:
“It’s great to know that we’ve been able to support the expansion of the trial to both hospitals and to provide this affordable and sustainable service for key workers and hospital visitors.”
Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust’s chief financial officer, Mark Orchard, said:
“It is great to support the rental trial in our city and we hope that the e-scooters will be useful to staff and visitors by providing another way to get to and from our site.”
Gordon Fowler, Strategic Transformation Director and Director of Estates for Solent NHS Trust welcomed the opportunity, saying:
“The Trust are committed to active travel and improving air quality. I am delighted that we have been able to introduce an e-scooter rack Portsmouth is one of a number of cities taking part in a national trial of rental e-scooters.at St Mary’s Community Health Campus and we are grateful to our partners who have helped us to achieve this. This is one of a series of steps we will be taking in the coming months to reduce our carbon emissions impact. I can’t wait to try one!’’
As the trial progresses, the safety of riders and other road users continue to be top priorities for Portsmouth City Council and Voi.
The new, improved, carbon-neutral Voiager 4 rental e-scooters come with additional safety features including turn indicators, larger tyres which increase shock absorption and improve stability, plus enhanced geofencing accuracy which enables the vehicles to operate within set parking and riding zones. Operating areas have been refined to ensure the safety of both riders and other road users and Voi continues to work closely with Hampshire Constabulary to exchange information and collaborate on public information campaigns.
Voi e-scooters operate at a maximum speed of 12.5mph. This speed reduces automatically when vehicles enter slow riding or no riding zones. Private, unregulated e-scooters can operate at much higher speeds.
Both Voi and the council encourage the public to report any misuse via its reporting page. The rental company has a strict three-strike policy, and users who do not follow the clear e-scooter usage guidelines can see their accounts blocked.
Members of the public who witness incidents of pavement riding, twin riding or underage riding should make a note of the time, the scooter’s number plate and report to Voi at www.voiscooters.com/report/uk
Find out more about the trial and view parking rack locations – visit travel.portsmouth.gov.uk/rentalescooters or www.voiscooters.com