Earlier this week, Liverpool saw the arrival of 50 electric scooters from Swedish firm Voi, available for hire over the next year, as part of a drive to boost sustainable transport in the city centre.
A joint initiative between the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and Liverpool City Council, the pilot project will stretch across the city centre, from the waterfront and city centre, up to the Knowledge Quarter and the Georgian Quarter, and north, to Vauxhall.
The scooters will cost £1 to unlock and then 20p a minute to use, and can be hired using the Voi Scooters app. Riders will need at least a provisional license, and the scooters, which usually have a top speed of 10 miles per hour, will be limited to just 5 miles per hour in areas with high footfall.
Riders should still wear a cycle helmet, according to government advice – although we anticipate many won’t, given a primary use of short-term rental schemes like this is picking up a ride for a short, unplanned trip. How many unplanned riders will happen to have a bicycle helmet with them? Hmm, we’ll see…
While driving e-scooters on the road is normally illegal, an exception has been made for scooters that are part of this national trial. The e-scooters can be driven on roads (except motorways) and in cycle lanes, but technically cannot be driven on pavements – again, we’ll see whether riders keep to this distinction.
The Voi e-scooter app can be downloaded from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, or you can follow the instructions displayed on any parked scooter.
We’re interested to know whether any Engage Liverpool readers plan to use these scooters, and what they think of them! Do you feel safe riding bicycles and scooters on Liverpool’s roads? Let us know!