European e-scooter operator Voi has extended its trial in the West of England one year after launching in the region.

Delivered in partnership with Voi, the West of England Combined Authority and the regional councils, the scheme has proven to be one of the most popular and successful services in Europe.

The Swedish firm estimates that it has saved 900,000 short car journeys in Bristol in the last year, equating to 480 tonnes of CO2. Four in 10 riders stated that they use e-scooters instead of a car. 

The trial in Bristol, Bath and South Gloucestershire, which has seen almost 2.5 million micromobility journeys taken, has now been extended until March 2022. 

“It has been such an exciting last 12 months working with West of England Combined Authority and the region’s City Councils, contributing to their transformation into cleaner, greener, and more environmentally-friendly places to live,” said Jack Samler, GM at Voi UK and Ireland.

“The West of England has shown incredible demand for sustainable transport options. As we announce the extension today, ridership has reached two and a half million and is one of Europe’s largest and most successful areas of e-scooter operations.

“We are delighted to have been given more time to build on our success so far. We will continue to listen to users, the local community, and key stakeholders – such as disability and visually-impaired groups – to ensure micromobility can work for everyone. 

“This trial extension will be invaluable, and can only help to strengthen an already truly collaborative partnership.

“We look forward to continuing our mission in Bath, Bristol, and South Gloucestershire to transform our cities for the better.”

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More than 400 residents in the West of England have signed up to Voi’s long-term rental scheme, which gives the user unlimited access to a personal rental e-scooter for £35 a month.

Ashley Hawkins, a Voi e-scooter rider in Bristol, said: “I am 61 years old. I have just retired. The Vois are a great way not just to reduce my costs but also to help the environment. 

“Instead of using my car for short journeys, I can use one of these e-scooters. It’s quicker and more fun than a car. Just the enjoyment of riding one was a big bonus for me. It has been quite child-like.”

Voi says it has worked closely with the Combined Authority, the local police and councils on safety for riders, pedestrians and vulnerable road users. This includes the introduction of the ‘End Ride Photo’ feature to incentivise good parking, as well as the addition of a ‘Report a Voi’ webpage. 

Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, said: “E-scooters are a great way to travel around the city and they are proving popular in Bristol and our wider region. 

“It is particularly important that we are providing another low-emission alternative to short car journeys, alongside our ongoing improvements to bus, walking and cycling journeys across the city and plans for a mass transit system.”