Chester residents have been trying out new rental e-scooters over the last few weeks and have already clocked up 11,226 miles from 3,776 journeys, the equivalent of nearly 13 trips from Land’s End to John o’ Groats.
The trial to encourage greener travel methods for shorter journeys and help tackle climate change is being run by e-scooter provider Ginger in partnership with Cheshire West and Chester Council. The 12-month rental trial started on Monday, 21 December 2020.
The pay-as-you-go scooters are hired via a mobile phone app, that already has over 1,400 registered local users who have travelled an average of 2.9 miles per trip.
Councillor Karen Shore, Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Strategic Transport said: “This trial could offer cleaner, efficient and more affordable travel for local communities, supporting our wider transport initiatives.
“The e-scooters have proved to be most popular with residents from Garden Lane who have made 743 journeys, followed by White Friars 539 journeys and Green Lane 502 journeys. This is a very good start considering the weather and also the current restrictions due to COVID.”
Cabinet Member for the Climate Emergency, Councillor Matt Bryan said: “In less than a month the e-scooters have saved approximately 2,814 Kg of Carbon Dioxide had those journeys been done in a petrol or diesel car. The average journey times are for 36 minutes and the e-scooters have been travelling around Chester for 2,280 hours.”
Ginger has shared some of the customer comments so far:
- “Freezing cold, raining…and still absolutely loved it.”
- “Excellent e-scooters really good fun, app works well only thing I would like to see is how many e-scooters are available at each parking area.”
- “Very positive experience very professional company easy to set up account.”
- “Ginger are doing great work and I truly believe this will be a great addition to any city wanting to become greener.”
Councillor Bryan added that it’s not all good news and there has been a small number of issues: “There were two reports of children riding with adults and one report of an adult passing the e-scooter to a child. The e-scooters aren’t toys, to hire and ride them requires a valid driving licence.
“There were also two reports of e-scooters being used for non-essential purposes, please remember we are under COVID restrictions at the moment and staying indoors except for very specific reasons.”
Andy Jones, Traffic Management Officer, Cheshire Constabulary also reminds anyone riding that: “E-scooters are classed in law as a motor vehicle and with that there is a greater level of responsibility and accompanying legislation. Offences committed on e-scooters or in relation to the misuse of them can result in prosecution with punishments including substantial fines and penalty points on driving licences. “
E-scooters are not permitted on pedestrian only pavements. Before and during the trial, consultation is taking place with disability groups through the Council’s Corporate Disability Access Forum which is an important part in the planning and evolvement of the scheme in Chester. User training, e-scooter design, designated routes and restricted speed limits will help to ensure that where e-scooters and pedestrians may share paths there is minimal risk.
The trial is part of a Department for Transport initiative that was approved by the government earlier in 2020. One of the aims is to reduce the pressure on public transport services during the COVID-19 pandemic, the DfT wants to explore how e-scooters can complement existing transport options, especially for short trips.
Added Councillor Bryan: “E-scooters offer a healthier, more environmentally friendly alternative to using the car for shorter journeys and will also help tackle air pollution. We need to determine whether e-scooters are a viable part of a greener and healthier future for Chester, the early results are very encouraging.”
Ginger are managing the e-scooters in Chester and full details, FAQs and location maps for the Chester scheme are available on their website: www.ginger.town/chester. Users will need to download the Ginger Shared Transport App from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store. The e-scooters cost £2 per 20 minutes of journey time and 50p per 10 minutes of pausing time.
E-Scooters will continue to charge their user until they are parked properly in a designated e-scooter parking area and the ride is ended on the app.
Anyone hiring e-scooters with Ginger needs to be aged 18 or over, with a valid driving licence (full or provisional) or a motorcycle licence.
Further information can also be found on the Council website:
Photo credit: Daniel Ackerley via Facebook
Date: 20 January 2021
Reference Number: 4984