Buckinghamshire Electric Scooter Trial

Buckinghamshire Council have implemented an Electric Scooter rental trial to help support a ‘green’ alternative to local travel that is convenient, clean and affordable and helps to mitigate reduced public transport capacity and allow for social distancing as a result of the Covid-19 Pandemic. E-scooters can reduce reliance on car trips, reduce congestion and improve Air Quality.

The Department for Transport (DfT) expanded trials of rental e-scooters and legislation was introduced to allow e-scooters to use highways and cycle routes. Only e-scooters in an approved trial are legal. Privately owned scooters will still be illegal on public networks.

The e-scooter rental scheme is operated by Zipp Mobility for a 12-month trial period and the scooters will be available for short-term hire. Initially the trial operated in Aylesbury and High Wycombe and we are now expanding into Princes Risborough as of the 17 May 2021.

Aims of the trial include:

  • To inform decision making as to the potential to legalise e-scooter use in future
  • To evaluate safety
  • To measure the transport mode-shift
  • Acceptability to other road users and the community and the public response to the trials

Hygiene

  • All scooters are sanitised daily and whenever a battery needs changing or maintenance is required.
  • The material on the handlebars is an anti-viral sleeve.
  • All riders are encouraged through the app to use sanitiser before they start a ride.

Taking part

Anyone wanting to hire an e-scooter must:

  • be more than 16 years old
  • hold at least a provisional driving licence.

To hire the e-scooters on short term rental you need to download the Zipp Mobility app on your smart phone:

Before your first ride you must take a photo of your driving licence and upload it to the Zipp app along with a selfie to verify your identity. Once verified (less than 1 minute) you will be a few clicks away from starting your ride.

How much it costs

There is a £1 unlock fee and a charge of 15p per minute.

Parking zones

  • All rides will have to start and finish in specified parking locations to ensure they are not scattered around the town. If parking rules are not followed the user will continue to be charged.
  • Users will be fined if they repeatedly do not park the scooter appropriately. This can lead to a user being blocked if they are a repeat offender.

Where you can ride the scooter

You may use a trial e-scooter on the road (except motorways) and in cycle lanes.

You must not use an e-scooter on the pavement.

How safe are the scooters for riders/pedestrians/other road users

We have been consulting and engaging with disability groups, Thames Valley Police, Town Council/ Committee and community Boards to ensure high levels of safety for all. Additional measures will be used including:

  • all users will have to undertake a mandatory training session before they ride (either in person or via the app) and they will be encouraged to wear a helmet
  • the speed limit is 15.5mph, as set by the DfT. We will also introduce lower speed zones in specific locations for safety reasons
  • geo-fencing will be used to control the trial zones, ensuring we can dictate where the scooters can go; users who go outside these areas will find the scooter will slow down and stop so they cannot progress further
  • the scooters are bright yellow to make it easier for people with impaired vision to detect them
  • the scooters are fitted with a bell
  • each scooter is fitted with front and rear lights that are activated whenever the scooter is being used
  • a kickstand is fitted to ensure the scooter stands up when parked
  • scooters are fitted with registration numbers so they can be easily identified

Customer support is available between 6am to 11:30pm via the Zipp Mobility app to enable people to report issues. For example, abandoned e-scooters, riding on pavements or other incidents. Reports can also be made through [email protected].

Private scooters

Privately owned e-scooters can only be used on private land, with the permission of the landowner. You cannot use a privately-owned e-scooter on the road, pavement or in a public space. If you do then you risk receiving a large fine, points on your driving licence and your e-scooter could be seized.

Only those e-scooters authorised through official trials can be used. In Buckinghamshire only Zipp e-scooters are legal.

Find out more on the Thames Valley Police website.

PC Dave Hazlett of Thames Valley Police Road Safety team has created an e-scooters guidance video.

Monitoring the trial

The trial will run for 12 months.

We will be monitoring the scheme through:

  • Feedback from residents, users, members, town and parish councils and community boards and committees.
  • Monthly usage and incident reports
  • Surveys through the Zipp app

Engagement

The trial has been implemented in a short timescale set by the Department of Transport. We have engaged with local members, town and parish councils, community boards and committees. We have also engaged with disability groups, Thames Valley Police, BLEP and local businesses.

We welcome public feedback through the website throughout this trial.

You can use the form below to make any comments about the e-scooter trial.

You can also use the form to report someone who is riding a scooter in an inappropriate manner/location or to report an abandoned e-scooter. When reporting an incident, please include a time, location and registration number if possible as it will be easier to identify the user. However, we do advise using the Zipp Mobility app for these purposes.

Feedback

RNIB have launched a tool to collect the experiences of blind and partially sighted people in rental e-scooter trial areas and will be sharing the findings with the Department for Transport.