Voi calls on Government to set clear date for e-scooter legislation in Northamptonshire and rest of UK

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
The UK-wide e-scooter trials are currently due to end in May 2024 with no clarity on what will happen next

E-scooter hire company, Voi, has warned the Government that it risks losing jobs and investment if they do not set a clear date for e-scooter legislation to be brought forward.

Shared e-scooter schemes are run as trials set up by the Government in a bid to provide a new form of sustainable and affordable transport and help local authorities reach their net zero targets.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Voi, which currently operates e-scooters in Northampton, Corby, Wellingborough, Rushden and Higham Ferrers as well as e-scooters and e-bikes in Kettering, claims they have seen nearly 1.2 million people take 21.5 million rides since setting up its first scheme in 2020.

Voi e-scooter trials are currently in place across Northamptonshire.Voi e-scooter trials are currently in place across Northamptonshire.
Voi e-scooter trials are currently in place across Northamptonshire.

Head of public policy for Voi, UK, Ireland and Netherlands, Matthew Pencharz, has warned that these gains could be put at risk if the Government is unable to give greater clarity on e-scooter legislation after the UK-wide trial finishes in 2024.

He said: “Almost three years after the trials were first started, the demand for e-scooters is proven with Voi alone having 21 million rides, replacing over eight million car journeys.

“However, the industry doesn’t have certainty after May next year when the trials are currently due to end.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Legislation will allow more cities and towns to use e-scooters as a sustainable method of transport for their communities, providing a firmer footing for the industry and the jobs and investment connected with it.”

According to Voi, two out of three shared e-scooter rides are on Voi scooters across the UK trials. Out of 18 e-scooter and e-bike markets across the UK, their most successful scheme is in Bristol.

The company claims they have generated more than £50 million across local economies in the cities Voi operates in the UK in 2022.

Voi’s e-scooters were first launched in Northampton in September 2020. Whilst many residents embraced the new sustainable and accessible means of transport, concerns have been raised surrounding the safety of the scooters.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Complaints included e-scooters being ridden on pavements, under-age riders, scooters being left in hazardous places and dangerous riding on roads.

Since the beginning of the scheme a number of road traffic collisions have involved Voi scooters, two deaths have been linked to the scheme and there have been complaints about scooters ‘snapping’.

In December, North and West Northamptonshire Councils agreed to the extension of the e-scooter trial to May 2024 on the condition that additional safety measures are introduced.

One of the safety measures is an “easier” way to report e-scooter misuse, which can be found on the Voi website here.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

E-scooters are currently subject to the same regulation as motor vehicles. Voi says that a new vehicle category for e-scooters should eliminate the need for all riders to have either provisional or full driving licences, opening up micromobility to more riders.

The insurance required is expected to be brought in line with e-bike regulation. This should enable insurance companies to create policies suited to e-scooters. Operators currently must provide third party insurance as for all motor vehicles.