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VOI Shared E-Scooters arrive in Kettering

Published: Thursday, 10th December 2020

New carbon-neutral, socially distanced mode of travel to be available from the 10th of December in Kettering town.

Launch event:

  • Northamptonshire County Council Cabinet Member for Place, Highways and the Environment, Jason Smithers, and Kettering Borough Council Leader, Russell Roberts will be at Voi’s safety pop-up event at the Clock Tower on Kettering’s High Street, on Thursday 10th of December, 1pm - 2pm. Due to social distancing requirements, please contact us in advance to book an interview slot.
  • Voi ambassadors will be present at the pop-up event to offer e-scooter demos, provide rider safety information and distribute free helmets, respecting local COVID restrictions and implementing safety recommendations.

Kettering, 10th of December 2020 - From today, residents and visitors in Kettering will be able to hire e-scooters to circulate in town. E-scooters offer a safe, accessible and convenient way to move around the town while adhering to the social distancing rules currently in place.

With COVID cases still prevalent in the region, e-scooters will help take the pressure off Kettering public transport while enabling people, particularly key workers, to make the necessary journeys without having to resort to their car, reducing congestion and pollution.  They will also help those who currently have to car share to socially distance.

Initially, there will be 50 scooters available to rent in Kettering from 04am to 11pm. To ride a scooter, users need to be 18 years old and over, are required to download the Voi app, available for free on Apple App Store or Google Play, and will have to present a valid driving license.

It costs £1 to unlock the scooter and then £0.20 per minute of usage. Voi also offers 24-hour (at £10) and 30-day (at £40) subscriptions, allowing users to take an unlimited number of rides at a fixed rate. Voi also offers discounts for students, those on low income and NHS and Emergency workers.

Rider safety

Safety is Voi’s number one priority.  Voi’s e-scooters will be cleaned and disinfected every 24 hours to ensure that they cannot become a source of infection. In addition, Voi e-scooters are fitted with copper tape that inactivates and minimises the transmission of coronavirus. Voi also provides COVID-19 advice and information via the app and encourages its users to use hand sanitiser and wear gloves.

Introducing e-scooters as safely as possible is the company’s number one priority, and Voi’s operations exceed the safety requirements required by the Government. For instance, Voi e-scooter speeds will be capped at 10 miles per hour. The Company has also been working with the relevant local authorities to create geofenced slow riding, no riding and mandatory parking areas, to ensure the safety of riders and other road users.

E-scooters are a new mode of transport, and therefore, Voi will work alongside local authorities to educate riders through online and offline educational campaigns. Riders will also be encouraged to complete Voi’s digital e-scooter traffic school #RideLikeVoila, the world’s first certified digital traffic school, where they can learn how to ride a scooter safely.

Voi will continue to work closely with local authorities to guarantee a successful trial phase, including addressing the safety concerns and needs of other road users, especially vulnerable groups. Close planning and collaboration with the local police force will also go a long way to ensuring the safety and viability of the trial over the 12-month period.

Jason Smithers, Cabinet Member for Highways and Place for Northamptonshire County Council said: Northamptonshire is committed to improving access to greener, more sustainable, more affordable transport for the benefit of everyone, and the Voi e-scooter partnership has been a fantastic step in the right direction for achieving this.

“Since the launch of the e-scooters, 116,000 rides have taken place in Northampton, with nearly 70% of rides carried out by repeat customers – an indication that uptake has been very successful. We are therefore thrilled that this new carbon-neutral, socially distanced mode of travel can now be introduced in Kettering town.

This, and any further expansions, will look to support the existing local transport network, providing alternatives to the car and public transport for shorter trips - while also working closely with local police to ensure that the rules of use are adhered to and that safety is maximised.”

Rochelle Mathieson, Head of Commercial & Economic Development at Kettering Borough Council, said: We are excited to see the launch of the VOI E-scooters in Kettering, following the success in Northampton, and working in partnership with Northamptonshire County Council colleagues, who are leading the pilot projects. Among the many benefits of introducing this new form of transport, the initiative also provides a greener alternative for travel in and around the town, which is a fantastic resource during these unprecedented times. We hope residents and visitors to the town will benefit from this new venture.

Cllr Mark Dearing, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration at Kettering Borough Council, said:The new E-Scooters, delivered by VOI, are an innovative, efficient and eco-friendly method of transport that we are delighted to be introducing to Kettering town.  It is essential that during the pandemic, new schemes such as this can be introduced that meet the safety needs of our residents and visitors.  We encourage all users to be responsible whilst operating the E-scooters, follow the clearly defined rules and enjoy!

Richard Corbett, Regional General Manager of UK, Ireland and Benelux for Voi, said:

Following our successful launch in Northampton where over 116,000 rides have been taken since we launched back in September, we are delighted to launch our shared e-scooter trial in the prosperous and well-connected town of Kettering.

With a growing commuter population, the trial offers the local population a safe and carbon-neutral way to go about their lives, to commute or shop locally. As people adopt this new green way of travelling, there will be an increasing reduction in carbon dioxide and particulate emissions. By progressively transforming the way people move or commute, we can shape cities for the future, making them safer and more welcoming places to live and work.”

ENDS

Note to editors:

The following key rules apply for the e-scooter trials:

  • Privately owned e-scooters remain illegal to use on roads, pavements, parks and any other areas. The only place that privately-owned e-scooters can legally be used is on private land with the permission of the landowner.
  • Only e-scooters that are hired or leased through the Kettering trial can be used legally on roads, cycle lanes or cycle tracks.
  • E-scooters cannot be used on pavements or parked in a way that disrupts pedestrians or causes nuisance.
  • E-scooters are classed as motorised vehicles and riders of authorised trial e-scooters must hold a full or provisional driving licence.
  • In line with the Department for Transport’s guidance, we recommend wearing a cycle helmet when using an e-scooter.

The trial will introduce several safety measures which exceed the UK government’s requirements, including:

  • Initially, scooters will not exceed 10mph and will be slower in some areas, until people get used to them.
  • Using geofencing technology, there will be no-ride zones and slow-speed zones for some areas.
  • When a user travels out of the operational zone, they will be blocked, and the e-scooter will slow and stop.
  • All e-scooters will have clear number plates to help identify riders.
  • To ride a scooter, users need to be 18 years old and above and provide a driving licence - identity check will be done.
  • Voi ambassadors will be present on the streets to enforce safe behaviour.
  • Ambassadors will work with local Police to restrict or ban non-compliant users.

 For more information on the e-scooter trials, please visit:

www.smartmovenorthamptonshire.net

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About Voi

Founded in August 2018, Voi is a Swedish micro-mobility company offering electric scooter sharing in partnership with cities and local communities. We believe e-scooters can play a central role in changing how people move in our cities in the future. And we want to make sure that the transformation happens the right way - through real innovative technology, open and transparent dialogue with cities and Governments and by adapting our products to local needs. Jump on a scooter whenever and ride wherever in the city in just minutes - completely carbon-neutral. Voi has been a carbon-neutral company since January 2020 and has adopted the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a guiding framework, and has also set a clear agenda for reducing and offsetting emissions. 

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