West of England first region to offer e-scooters for long-term rental

People across the West of England will be able to rent an e-scooter and take it home from 27 January.

West of England Combined Authority (WECA) and Voi Technology announced the launch of their long-term rental scheme today – as part of their e-scooter trials.

This is the first region in the UK to offer residents both the hop-on-hop-off scheme – which started in October – and the long-term rental options.

They can be used by residents across the whole of Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset and South Gloucestershire – within the entire geofenced WECA area.

With long-term rentals, people can rent an e-scooter for personal use that they can keep at home for an extended period of time.

This will give them more flexibility to travel from home and move within the region, reducing the need for short car journeys – which will help improve air quality and reduce congestion.

Tim Bowles, West of England Mayor, said: “…This will offer another practical, flexible and cost-effective alternative to the car for people who want to use the scooter to help us get our region moving.

“It builds on the popularity of our hop-on hop-off e-scooters which we’ve seen growing in Bath and Bristol and offers a socially distanced mode of transport for users outside of the city centres…”.

From 27 January users will be able to rent a scooter for one or six months or until the trial ends in late October 2021 and use them within the pre-defined geofenced WECA region.

It costs £35 to rent the scooter for one month, with lower rates available for a longer rental period. NHS staff and key emergency workers will be offered free rides during lockdown.

Residents interested in signing up for a long-term rental can register on the Voi website https://www.voiscooters.com/long-term-rentals/.

To be eligible for a long-term rental scooter, users need to be over 18 years old, have a valid or provisional driving licence and live in the WECA region.

Once the user has been approved, the vehicle delivery will be arranged by Voi.

Alongside the scooter, the user will receive a helmet, a lock and two battery chargers. Voi will also provide a guide with detailed information on how to use, maintain and charge the scooter at home. 

The following rules apply for the e-scooter trials: 

·         Privately owned e-scooters remain illegal to use on roads, pavements, parks and any other areas. They can only be legally be used on private land with the permission of the landowner. 

·         Only e-scooters that are hired or leased through the West of England’s trial can be used legally on roads, cycle lanes or cycle tracks. 

·         E-scooters cannot be used on pavements or parked in a way that disrupts pedestrians or causes nuisance. 

·         E-scooters are classed as motorised vehicles and riders of authorised trial e-scooters must hold a full or provisional driving licence. 

·         In line with the Department for Transport’s guidance, riders are recommended to wear a cycle helmet when using an e-scooter.