Electric scooter trial to be launched in Chester

10 December 2020

People in Chester will soon be able to get around using hired electric scooters, as part of a trial to encourage greener travel methods.

Cheshire West and Chester Council, in partnership with e-scooter provider Ginger, will launch a 12-month trial in the city from Monday, 21 December.

The trial is part of a Department for Transport (DfT) initiative that was approved by the government earlier this year.

As part of an effort to ease the pressure on local public transport services during the COVID-19 pandemic, the DFT wants to explore how e-scooters can complement existing transport options, especially for short trips.

The Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Strategic Transport, Cllr Karen Shore said: “This is an exciting opportunity to explore new greener transport options for our historic City. The trial of rental e-scooters starting in Chester could offer cleaner, efficient and more affordable travel for local communities, complementing the Council’s wider transport initiatives. The e-scooters will also help visitors explore our many attractions, supporting the city centre economy.

“We’ve been able to learn from trials that have already been launched in other parts of the country. Colleagues in Cheshire Police have also been involved in our planning to ensure measures are in place to avoid misuse.”

The scooters will not move unless unlocked by a valid driving licence holder, they will cut out if taken into a location that is not approved for their use and there is a speed limiter.

Cllr Shore added: “This is a 12-month trial and I’m sure some the scooter parking locations and operational elements will change and evolve as we explore how this mode of transport can be used in Chester. I encourage residents, businesses and visitors to participate in the trial and provide feedback.”

Cabinet Member for the Climate Emergency, Councillor Matt Bryan added: “This e-scooters trial will provide a greener travel solution for the city, at a time when we are facing a climate emergency and encouraging people to leave their car at home. E-scooters offer a healthier, more environmentally friendly alternative to using the car for shorter journeys and will also help tackle air pollution.

“Council officers have also engaged with the Disability Access Forum who will help provide the insights and data we need to determine whether e-scooters are a viable part of a greener and healthier future for Chester.”

Ginger CEO Paul Hodgins said, "We are very excited to be bringing one of the national e-scooter pilots to Chester and to be working together with Cheshire West and Chester Council.

"Ginger had the first pilot in the country, and we are now live in multiple towns across the UK. Like all our pilots, we will start on a small-scale, with dedicated parking bays, introducing the trial to Chester in a controlled and safe manner."

Ginger will be managing the e-scooters in Chester and full details, FAQs and location maps for the Chester scheme will be available on their website soon. Users will need to download the Ginger Shared Transport App from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store. The e-scooters cost £2 per 20 minutes of journey time and 50p per 10 minutes of pausing time.

Scooters will continue to charge their user until they are parking properly in a designated escooter parking area and the ride is ended on the app.

Anyone hiring e-scooters with Ginger needs to be aged 18 or over, with a valid driving licence (full or provisional) or a motorcycle licence.

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