Portsmouth, Southampton and Isle of Wight councils have approved an extension of the e-scooter trials to May 2024.
This follows the Department for Transport’s (DfT) decision to extend the UK’s e-scooter trial zones until 31 May 2024 to help it better understand the benefits of properly regulated, safety-tested e-scooters and their impact on public space.
E-scooters have been on the Isle of Wight since November 2020 and in Portsmouth and Southampton since March 2021. Beryl and Voi are the licensed operators in the region and provide 1,400 e-scooters in Southampton, over 800 in Portsmouth and 118 on the Isle of Wight.
So far e-scooters have replaced more than half a million car trips and saved an equivalent of 282 tonnes of CO2 emissions in Portsmouth and Southampton together, according to Solent Transport, which represents a partnership between the councils.
Over 139,000 users have ridden 1.37 million trips since the start of the programme, said Solent Transport. Riders have covered almost 3.6 million kms with an average ride time of about 15 minutes in Portsmouth and Southampton, and more than 18 minutes on the Isle of Wight.
“The numbers show that our e-scooters have proven to be really popular across the Isle of Wight and the extension of this scheme is a major boost to our aim of inspiring even more people to take up sustainable travel,” Beryl’s CEO and Co-Founder Philip Ellis told Zag Daily.
“Since we launched our scheme on the island in November 2020, we’ve seen users make 123,818 journeys across 401,478km – that’s over ten journeys around the Earth.
“Extending this and our other two e-scooter schemes until May 2024 will allow us to gather even more evidence to support the importance of their role within integrated urban transport.”
E-scooters can be hired using Breeze, the new transport app for the Solent region, as well as the Voi and Beryl apps.
The trials are part of the Solent Future Transport Zone, funded by the Department for Transport.
“The extension of the trial to May 2024 will allow continued data collection to inform the DfT’s evaluation process of the trials, and will provide an opportunity to assess the impact of integrating the e-scooters into the new Mobility-as-a-Service super app, Breeze,” a spokesperson at Solent Transport told Zag.
Councillor Eamonn Keogh, Cabinet Member for Transport and District Regeneration at Southampton City Council, celebrated the decision: “The use of the e-scooters in Southampton has far exceeded our expectations for our city, with more than 62,000 users riding in excess of 802,000 times and traveling almost 2 million kms. The decision to extend the trial supports our goals to become a greener place to live, work and enjoy.”
The announcement follows Beryl’s launch of a brand new multi-city bikeshare scheme across Solent last month.