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E-scooter trials in Essex

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Spring 2021 will see the continued launch of safe e-scooter trials in Essex. Carefully managed trials have been authorised by the UK government for e-scooters in six county locations.

Essex County Council is working with the transport operator Spin, the relevant city, borough and district councils and Essex Police on the electric scooter trials as part of our Safer, Greener, Healthier transport initiative.

Spin logo

These innovative Essex trials will see Spin, a company owned by Ford, provide and manage an e-scooter rental system in defined areas of Basildon, Braintree, Brentwood, Clacton, Chelmsford and Colchester. Schemes have been designed in collaboration with the districts.

A key aim is to provide a socially-distanced and safe way for people to travel that also reduces the number of short car journeys made: Spin’s previous experience in Milton Keynes shows 63 per cent of e-scooter riders used an e-scooter instead of driving.

To explore the schemes in more detail, including finding out how much it costs to hire an e-scooter, please visit the individual website for each location

Each trial will start small-scale and be constantly evaluated before any expansion takes place. Essex County Council will enable everyone to give their views and experience during the trials and will monitor and adjust each pilot trial as it progresses.

You can provide feedback by talking with your local County Councillor or District Councillor, or by email to escootertrials@essex.gov.uk

To report an incident or raise an issue with a Spin e-scooter please email: support@spin.pm or phone: 08000 488 155

Safety

Safety is of the utmost importance in these trials and Essex County Council, Essex Police and all partners from city, borough and district councils are committed to ensuring the safety of all road-users. Essex Police will rigorously enforce all rules relating to the operation of e-scooters.

Essex Police is supporting the development of new mobility solutions such as e-scooters, but it is important that the use of any motor vehicle is safe and legal.

Essex Police will be enforcing all safety regulations and the licence and insurance requirements and, just like any other vehicle on the public highway: if a valid licence and insurance documents are not presented, that e-scooter can be seized.

The owners of privately owned e-scooters which do not form part of the trials must understand that their use on the County’s roads remains illegal and they can expect their vehicles to be seized.

The rules

Only Spin scooters hired as part of this trial are legal on Essex roads. Private scooters – because they are unable to get insurance – remain illegal, except on private land.

Current rules are that Spin e-scooters are legally allowed to go anywhere that bicycles are legally allowed to go. Bicycles and e-scooters are not allowed on pavements.

To legally ride a Spin e-scooter you must have a valid provisional or full driving licence. To hire a SPIN scooter, you must be 18 and show your driving licence which will be verified by a third-party database. Users will also have to take a selfie and upload to the app before hiring the e-scooter for the first time. The act of hiring a Spin e-scooter provides you with insurance.

The Spin e-scooters have distinctive orange branding to make them easily recognisable as distinct from privately-owned scooters which are usually black in colour.

All users who hire a Spin e-scooter will be given thorough online compulsory training before they can hire a scooter, including modules on responsible driving and disability awareness.

Users cannot hire a Spin e-scooter until this training is completed. Once completed – and a safety test passed,  e-scooters will be bookable through a free web app provided by Spin. There will be incentives and disincentives to promote good use of Spin e-scooters.

Trials are co-designed with city, borough and district councils, and will support the unique travel needs in each town. E-scooters will provide a controlled way to assess their popularity, safety and impact upon travel and the environment in these towns.

‘Geofencing’ technology will be used to stop e-scooters being used in areas where they are not permitted. Scooters can operate at a maximum of 15.5 mph and geofencing will be used to create ‘go slow’ and ‘no go’ areas.

The trials will be for a maximum of one year once the schemes are running and will be regularly reviewed.

For more information – see our Questions and answers page.

Maps of trial areas 

Key

Green shade - Spin service area
Red shade - No-go zone

(Maps of additional locations will be added as the scheme detail is finalised) 

Basildon map

Chelmsford map

Colchester map