There is currently an e-scooter trial in the grounds of the University of Warwick. Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), which is part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), has teamed up with the University of Warwick on the two-year trial.
Parvez Islam, director of transport and mobility for the University of Warwick, said: “Ever since the University of Warwick was established, we’ve been a place where the future lands early. We’re proud to, again, be pointing the way with the Future Transport Zone trial on our campus. Our scheme with Transport for West Midlands is an important signal that we are committed to exploring new and better ways of living, studying and working on our campus, by designing solutions with our campus community.
“This scheme gives our staff, students and communities an opportunity to experience the future of sustainable transport and mobility and to play a part in building a shared understanding of how new concepts, modes, technologies and approaches can help shape behaviours and make a better world.”
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How to use
You will need to install an app on a smartphone to use one. See the Voi website for details.
You will also need to be aware of the law concerning the use of e-scooters. See here for details.
E-scooters Not in the Trial will Remain Illegal
Privately owned electric scooters are currently illegal everywhere in the UK except on private land. See here for details.
Health and safety training
According to the University of Warwick website:
Before you ride, you’ll need to complete compulsory health and safety training in the app. This sets out the rules and expectations for e-scooter hiring and riding.
Unfortunately, anyone who is caught disregarding the rules will receive a strike on their account; on the third warning, the user’s account will be permanently blocked.
Voi also reserves the right to ban users from the service for serious infractions. Voi staff will be on site every day to ensure safety on campus, where they’ll work in tandem with campus security to monitor and encourage safe riding behaviour.
We also recommend that you wear a helmet. You can request a helmet for free on the app and arrange to pick it up before you start using the e-scooter.
– You need to hold a provisional or full UK driver’s license
– Only individuals 18+ are allowed to use the e-scooter
– Only one person per e-scooter
– E-scooters should not be driven on pavements
– You should never ride under the influence of drugs or alcohol – these are roadworthy vehicles, so the rules are the same as for driving a car
Voi Traffic School
Voi claims to be the most responsible e-scooter company in Europe:
As more and more people turn to micro-mobility, it’s our job to educate riders about safe road behaviour. Not sure what traffic rules you need to follow on an e-scooter? Test your knowledge at our traffic school and earn free rides while you learn! It’s certified by VIAS, NTF and DriveTech.
Their “Traffic School” is at https://ridelikevoila.com/enter. However, taking a course is not compulsory.
Problems with Bad Drivers
The University of Warwick apparently offers no assistance with dealing with offenders. According to their website, in answer to the question
I saw Coventry stopped their trial recently because people weren’t following the rules. How will you ensure that doesn’t happen on Warwick campus?
Their answer is:
Coventry City launched their e-scooter trial in early September and had over 5000 engagements in the first few days. They became aware of a small number of people not following rules and agreed with Voi to pause their trial temporarily to address learnings and change some of the geofencing locations. They are identifying ways in which the Coventry trial can then recommence in an appropriate manner very shortly, and are supporting the University of Warwick in addressing the learnings of the Coventry trial.
How to report bad drivers
According to the Warwick website, in answer to the question
Who is monitoring compliance with the rules?
Voi will have a team on site every day and will be putting a reporting mechanism in place for anyone to report in about rogue riders. Should you see someone disregarding the rules, you can report their location and the time you saw them; Voi’s geofencing technology will then be able to identify which e-scooter was hired. The e-scooter will be matched to the individual who hired the vehicle, and they will be directly notified by Voi. The terms of compliance are made very clear to individuals hiring the e-scooters and agreement with the terms and conditions is mandatory before hire can be activated. Users can also call campus security to report any e-scooter misuse they witness, and campus security will work with Voi to investigate and take action.
However they do not explain how to contact the Voi team! So how do you do it?
If you have an incident with scooters being badly or illegally driven, you should write to firstname.lastname@example.org. Report the location, date and time of the incident.
The announcement followed the Parliamentary Transport Committee’s launch of an inquiry in April to look at legalising and examining their impact on congestion, and potential contribution to cutting emissions.
Rental e-scooter trials began in June 2020 to encourage commuters to stay off public transport during the coronavirus pandemic. The aim is to assess the benefits of e-scooters.
The trial is part of the Government’s plan to invest £2 billion in cycling and walking to help get Britain moving again over the coming months. The e-scooter trial was originally planned for 2021.