Following initial trials – do the public really want e-scooters?

Surveys | Transport & Distribution
WECA launch eScooters in Bath from Voi. October 2020.

Nine months after the first e-scooter trials began in the UK, new figures reveal just how much the nation is embracing new forms of electric micro-mobility and cutting back on car usage.

In a survey commissioned by Voi – the e-scooter operator – from findoutnow.co.uk, twice as many people (48%) said they support the use of e-scooters across the UK, double the proportion of people who were opposed to trials of the rental e-scooters.  Less than one in four people oppose their use.

Of those in favour of the continued e-scooter roll-out, more than half believe that if we’re to lower the fatal levels of pollution across the country and decrease congestion in our local towns and cities, e-scooters, bikes and pedestrians should be given priority over cars.

In fact, almost a quarter of respondents said that e-scooters have now replaced their reliance on ride hailing and cars. This is set to increase further as Voi rolls out its long-term rental programs across the country, currently  available in the West of England and North Devon regions.

Improving micromobility across the UK 

Following the pandemic, a number of leading UK and European authorities have introduced initiatives in which roads in towns and cities have been permanently given over to cyclists and scooter riders to help them get to work safely, all while adhering to social distancing guidelines.

In London alone, 22,000sqm of carriageway has been reallocated across the Transport for London Road Network since May 2020, and close to 100km of new or upgraded cycle and e-scooter routes have been built in the capital. According to official stats from the Mayor’s Office, this has seen a significant shift – up 29% – towards people opting to use these newly created spaces.

Findoutnow.co.uk’s survey also found that almost a third (31%) of commuters are using e-scooters as part of their existing public transport journey and almost a fifth (17%) use e-scooters to travel to and from work directly.

The data shows the extent that right across the country e-scooters are increasingly integrated in journeys, whether for fun, to run errands, to connect to public transport or to carry people to work.  E-scooter trials are closely regulated by the Department for Transport and Voi works closely with local authorities and the police to make sure that the rules are followed and enforced. Voi’s own data shows  that in terms of the trips taken there are similarities across the UK with journeys typically  2-3km in length.

Findoutnow.co.uk’s nationally representative survey of over 2,400 people was carried out on 20 -21 May across England and Wales and is in line with the recent report, which revealed the e-scooters have four times higher uptake rate than bike rental schemes.

As more people choose to use rental e-scooters, Voi’s top priority remains ensuring the safety of all road users. To achieve this, Voi focuses on user education and is continually introducing new safety features that encourage responsible riding and safe parking behaviour, including end-of-ride photos, parking racks designed with the RNIB, e-scooter number plates and a three strikes policy to block repeat offenders from renting with Voi.

Jack Samler, General Manager at Voi Technology UK and Ireland, said:  “It is an exciting time for urban transportation and we are thrilled that so many people understand the benefits of e-scooters and  are embracing this form of micro mobility to travel in a fun, convenient and environmentally-friendly way. We are now operating in 18 locations across the UK and seeing more and more people choosing to use e-scooters as one of a range of transport choices that mean they can leave cars behind.”

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