Local authorities have launched a pilot scheme for electric scooters in Taunton
West Somerset and Taunton councils, in line with their commitment to climate and environmental responsibility, have proposed a pilot scheme for electric scooters with the aim of becoming carbon neutral by 2030.
West Somerset and Taunton (SWT) Council has received approval from the Department for Transport (DfT) to carry out a 12-month trial of electric scooters in Taunton.
Zipp Mobility, an Irish micro-transport start-up, has been awarded a contract to run the scheme in the Somerset town, starting later this month.
Electric scooters will be allowed to be used legally on certain roads, cycle lanes and cycle lanes in the UK by July 2020.Since then, it has been reported that more than 35 local authorities have submitted bids to the DfT, including the SWT board.In line with its commitment to climate and environmental responsibility, it has proposed a pilot design programme for electric scooters aimed at achieving carbon neutrality and climate resilience by 2030.
"SWT is in the process of approving a district-wide plan as part of its commitment to tackling climate change, and has implemented a number of initiatives to help create a more sustainable future for everyone," said Peter Pilkington, a MEMBER of the CLIMATE Committee, which is on the SWT committee.
"I am pleased that we won the bid to be part of the pilot program and to secure Zipp Mobility as our operator.Electric scooters offer a cleaner, low-carbon alternative to cars, and another green alternative to walking around and keeping your distance during the coronavirus pandemic.
Zipp says its electric scooters are designed with safety in mind.It has an aircraft-class aluminum frame, 10 inch airless tires, replaceable batteries, double brakes, wide base and low center of gravity.Scooters are also equipped with antiviral handlebars, and startups claim to be able to kill 99.98 percent of the coronavirus to help eliminate the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
Will O'Brien, vice-president for growth and Government affairs at Zipp Mobility, added: "The commitment by the Somerset Group and Taunton Council to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030 is the most ambitious in the country."
"We are delighted to be working with such an environmentally conscious local authority and helping them to achieve this goal by providing a world-class electric scooter trial."
SWT Council and Zipp Mobility will hold a series of training and education days for the public ahead of the launch of the electric scooter trial.
In addition, the Commission and Zipp plan to work with local representatives and groups to ensure that the trial is tailored to the area and has a positive impact on the community.
Rented vehicles can only be used within a set geographical range, so the SWT Commission is revising traffic law orders (TROs) in preparation for the start of the trial.The DfT says that only participating scooters can be used in public areas, and it is still illegal to use private scooters in public places.
SWT council and Zipp Mobility are working with Avon and Somerset Police to help people understand the laws.