Micromobility operator Bird has today announced that it has been granted a further extension to its trial of shared e-scooters in the town of Redditch, Worcestershire until the end of November 2022.
To accompany this extension, Bird has deployed a brand new fleet of ‘Bird Three’ vehicles, and is providing free rides to NHS workers.
This makes Redditch the first UK town to receive the upgraded Bird Three vehicles.
Its features include the longest footboard in the industry at 25” and IP68-rated batteries, which take the vehicle further between charges. There is also a new battery management system designed to analyse vital battery operations in real-time to improve safety, performance and increase the vehicle’s lifespan.
Any NHS workers based at Alexandra Hospital, which is in Bird’s operational zone, can travel on its e-scooters for free. To do this, workers just need to sign up by emailing a copy of their NHS identification card along with their name and phone number to firstname.lastname@example.org. NHS riders will receive two free 30 minute rides per day.
Strategic Planning and Conservation Manager for Redditch Borough Council, Michael Dunphy, said: “The trial has gone well so far and we have managed to iron out some of the initial issues. We’ve already expanded the trial area, so the remainder of the trial going into the summer months will provide more opportunities for scooter usage. We continue to work closely with Bird as a collaborative partner, to make the scheme accessible, and help even more of our community get where they need to go without the need for a car.”
The Department for Transport (DfT) issued guidance to highway authorities, including Redditch County Council saying programmes may continue beyond the end of this month when the current trial period was due to end.
The trial extension to November 2022 is to allow the DfT to collect more data about the use of electric scooters.
James Padden, General Manager for UK and Ireland at Bird, added: “We are thrilled to support the trial extensions together with Redditch County Council and we applaud their dedication to reducing carbon emissions in the town. Since the start of the trial, we have recorded a safety incident rate of 0.001% meaning 99.999% of rides start and end safely without issue, highlighting how our convenient and fun e-scooters provide a safe and clean alternative to motor transport.”
The news follows Bird’s recent announcement that its trial in Canterbury has also been extended until November 2022.