Solent Transport has confirmed that trials of rental e-scooters in Portsmouth and Southampton will be continued for a further eight months.

Funded by the Department for Transport (DfT), Solent Future Transport Zone (FTZ) is working with local authorities to trial innovative approaches to transport across the Solent region. Rental e-scooter schemes are being monitored by the DfT in numerous locations across England.

Since March 2021, 1,750 Voi rental e-scooters have been introduced in Portsmouth and Southampton, and more than 60,000 riders have made 713,000 journeys. 42% of those journeys replaced car trips, making it the most common transport mode that Voi e-scooter users are switching from in the Solent.

Extending the trials will provide more valuable data to the DfT and allow further local evidence to be collected during a period of reopening now that most COVID-19 restrictions have come to an end.

Cllr Lynne Stagg, Chair of Solent Transport’s Joint Committee said: “Extending the trial until November gives Solent Transport an even better opportunity to collect the important data needed for the DfT. Their decision will have an impact on the future use of e-scooters, not only in the Solent region, but for the whole country.

I appreciate for some people this new way of travel remains a concern and if you see anything you are not happy with please report it to Voi on their website. The more information we have the better we can inform the future of this e-scooters.”

Unlike privately owned e-scooters that are illegal to use anywhere except on private land with the landowner’s permission, Voi’s distinctive coral coloured rental e-scooters can be used on public roads including cycle lanes and shared-use paths, but not footpaths.

Voi has provided 242 parking bay locations across Portsmouth and Southampton. Riders are incentivised to use and park the e-scooters safely. Every Voi e-scooter has a unique registration number, with geofencing technology used to track their location.

Rental e-scooter riders must have a driving licence and be aged 18 or over. All are encouraged to wear a helmet and take virtual training via the Voi mobile phone app before their first ride.

Voi restricts the maximum speed of e-scooters to 12.5mph, with a lower limit automatically applied in some places. The e-scooters are available for use from 4am to 10pm. Each ride of up to 45 minutes costs £1 plus 14p per minute. 24-hour and 30-day subscriptions are also available, with 50% discount for NHS staff and people on low incomes.

Cllr Lynne Stagg in Portsmouth’s Guildhall Square