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Spin will operate all six parts of the extensive Essex e-scooter trial

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Spin has won the tender to operate a six-part electric scooter trial in Essex.

The contract had been split into six lots, with micromobility providers able to bid on any or all of the sections. But in the end, the country where giant car-maker Ford has had a home since 1931 has chosen the Ford subsidiary company Spin for the full monty.

“We are so excited to be selected as preferred supplier to Essex County Council and that we are one step closer to bringing our e-scooters to Essex residents in six locations,” Spin’s UK general manager Steve Pyer told Zag today. “Pending approval from the Department for Transport, this would be our second stop in the UK following our successful start in Milton Keynes this summer.”

The areas that will be covered under the Essex programme are Basildon, Braintree, Brentwood, Chelmsford, Clacton-on-Sea and Colchester. (The famous Dagenham plant, where Ford has invested nearly £1bn over the past 20 years and built 11m cars, isn’t on the list, sadly.)

Pyer himself has only recently joined Spin but he brings a wealth of experience in bike-share systems. Backed by the resources and infrastructure of Ford, they make a formidable team.

“We look forward to responsibly serving local residents by providing them with our accessible, inexpensive and greener mode of transport,” Pyer went on. “We are super excited that we can now also do this in an area where our parent company Ford has a long-standing history.”

Ford is famous for revolutionising the way that motor cars were manufactured and has a proud history of technical innovation. If this raises the bar for micromobility provision in the UK, that can only be a good thing as trials progress.

Zag writer Damien Cross recently test-rode a Spin electric scooter the Ford’s Dunton test track, in Essex. His impressions will be published soon.

In a statement sent to Zag, Essex County Council said: “The Essex County Council evaluation team have selected Spin as the preferred supplier for all six e-scooter lots (Basildon, Brentwood, Braintree, Chelmsford, Colchester, Clacton).

“It must be noted that this award is for the preferred supplier to operate escooters in named locations in Essex, pending approval from the DfT.

“This is not confirmation that e-scooters will be launched in Essex, but this is a step forward in that process. E-scooters will only be launched in Essex once the DfT approve the county council proposals and ECC, and the district councils involved, finalise details with Spin. Only once all this has been agreed will contracts be signed.”

This article was updated on 05 October 2020 to include comment from Essex County Council.

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Photography by

Jamie Sheldrick / Spacesuit Media

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