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How do you feel about rental e-scooters in the city? Now that a regulated, legal trial is fully underway, the council is asking you once again to share your views on e-scooters through an opinion survey.

Portsmouth City Council’s trial of Voi rental e-scooters launched in the city in March 2021. The council, in partnership with Solent Transport, is one of a number of local authorities in the Solent Future Transport Zone taking part in the trial. As part of this government endorsed trial, Voi’s regulated, rental e-scooters are legal on public roads, however privately-owned e-scooters remain illegal, except on private land.

Capturing views on e-scooters forms an important part of the trial, which is currently in place until 26th November 2021. The Department for Transport has asked all trial areas to look to extend their trial period to allow further time to gather evidence. This survey will help the council to decide whether to extend the trial of e-scooters in our city past November 2021, until the end of March 2022.

The survey will also allow the council and Solent Transport to better understand public opinion on rental e-scooters as a new, sustainable, form of transport. A pre-launch survey, carried out before the start of the trial in March, will be compared with the current survey results and any further feedback as part of the trial.

The feedback gathered from these surveys will help the council and Solent Transport understand whether views have changed since the trial began. This information will help to feed into Solent Transport’s report to the government on the success of the regional trial.

Cllr Lynne Stagg, Cabinet Member for Traffic and Transportation, said “As the trial has now been in place for almost six months, we want to hear your views again. Whether you use a rental e-scooter regularly, occasionally, or have seen others using them, we want to hear what you think in order to inform what happens next. Your feedback will be shared with the Department for Transport as part of a review of trials happening across the country, and will contribute to deciding the future of rental e-scooters in England.

“We are committed to continuing to work closely with the police to help remind people that privately owned e-scooters remain illegal for use on public roads.”

Since the scheme’s launch in March, 110,000 rental e-scooter rides have been taken in the city and 380,000 km (240,000 miles) travelled. This represents an equivalent reduction of 25 tonnes of CO2 and a saving of 35,000 short car journeys.

We now have more than 50 Voi parking racks across the city. Racks at St Mary’s Hospital and Queen Alexandra Hospital have enabled key workers and hospital visitors to travel conveniently and sustainably. During the trial, Voi have offered free and discounted rides to essential workers and people travelling to vaccination appointments.

Throughout the trial, safety has been a top priority and there are clear rules around who can use the e-scooters. People who rent scooters from Voi must be 18 or over and hold at least a provisional driving licence. Riders are regularly encouraged to take part in online training through in-app prompts and through Voi’s safety campaigns. People who attend Voi’s free monthly traffic school safety events in the Guildhall Square receive a free helmet plus £10 in credits towards Voi journeys.

The council has worked closely with Voi to identify and refine operating areas to ensure the safety of both riders and other road users. Voi continues to work closely with Hampshire Constabulary to exchange information and collaborate on public information campaigns.

The e-scooter survey runs until September 18, and you can take part at: travel.portsmouth.gov.uk/rentalescooters