Three hundred e-scooters from Swedish provider Voi are to be introduced across the Northampton and Kettering region by Northamptonshire County Council.
The trial forms part of the Smart Move Northamptonshire initiative which is utilising new technology and solutions, from business such as Voi, to help manage the transport network; provide better information to users; and offer more choice as to how they travel.
The trial, now approved by ministers, will enable residents and visitors to the area to leave their cars behind in favour of the low-carbon alternative.
It means Voi’s scooters are now live in 45 regions and 11 countries. As part of the trial, Voi will offer rides at £1 to unlock, and 20 per minute to ride.
The scooters will use energy generated from renewable sources to charge e-scooters and run the operation, which expected to create more than 50 full-time equivalent jobs
Fredrik Hjelm, co-founder and CEO of Voi Technology, said: “We can’t wait to get started in Northampton and Kettering. Both are forward-looking, ambitious, growing towns that are keen to embrace new technology. This makes them ideal locations to launch this revolutionary transport.”
Richard Corbett, UK GM of Voi Technology, added: “Cars no longer suit the way we live now. 60% of car journeys in the UK are between 1 to 3 miles, significantly adding to congestion. We estimate that 1 in 5 of these journeys across Northamptonshire could be replaced by low-carbon e-scooters with a minimum 24 month lifespan.”
Within the first three months of operation, Voi will assess and present recommendations to Northamptonshire County Council on any additional infrastructure requirements that it sees based on user feedback and user journey data, including feedback from disability group associations such as RNIB and Disabilities Move UK.
Across the country, more than 50 councils and regional authorities are putting in place e-scooter pilots, which can run for 12 months.
Cities including Liverpool, West Midlands (including Birmingham, Coventry, Wolverhampton and Dudley), Cambridge and Peterborough, Milton Keynes and Southampton were amongst those to express interest in running a pilot.