Solent Transport and its partners are delighted to announce that Portsmouth City Council, Southampton City Council and the Isle of Wight Council have all approved an extension of the e-scooter trial to May 2024. The approval comes after the Department for Transport (DfT) invited local authorities to extend trials to May 2024.

E-scooters have been on the Isle of Wight since November 2020 and in Portsmouth and Southampton since March 2021. The trial has been very well received, with over 139,000 registered users riding a total of 1.37millon trips. Together these trips have covered just under 3.6 million kms with an average ride time of just less than 15 minutes in Portsmouth and Southampton, and more than 18 minutes on the Isle of Wight.

The trial aims to help reduce congestion, reduce CO2 emissions, improve air quality, and inspire sustainable travel choices across the Solent region. So far e-scooters have replaced more than half a million car trips and have saved an equivalent of 282 tonnes of CO2 emissions in Portsmouth and Southampton together.

Currently there are 118 e-scooters available on the Isle of Wight, over 800 in available Portsmouth and 1,400 in Southampton. This year more e-scooter rental parking has been installed in both cities, meaning people are never far away from a place to pick up or drop off an e-scooter.

E-scooters can be hired using Breeze, the new transport app for the Solent region, as well as the Voi and Beryl apps. Every e-scooter has a unique registration number, with geofencing technology used to track their location. To hire an e-scooter you must have a driving licence and be at least aged 18. Users are encouraged to wear a helmet and take virtual safety training via the mobile phone apps before their first ride. A range of payment options are available, including pay-as-you-go, daily and monthly passes and minute bundles.

The e-scooter trials are part of the Solent Future Transport Zone, funded by the Department for Transport. Moving forward, Solent Transport will continue to monitor rental e-scooter usage, working closely with local stakeholders. This collaborative work will ensure the whole community can provide feedback to the trial and that there are wider benefits from the continuation of this green and affordable way to travel.

Portsmouth: Councillor Lynne Stagg, Chair of the Solent Transport Joint Committee and Cabinet Member for Traffic and Transportation at Portsmouth City Council, said “The Solent Future Transport Zone is providing more and better travel options across the Solent region. As we face a global climate emergency, it’s more important than ever that our residents have access to more sustainable ways to travel. We are delighted that the e-scooter trials can continue across the three areas, helping protect the natural environment and encouraging people to make the switch from driving and even save money at a time when fuel is so expensive”.

Isle of Wight: Councillor Phil Jordan, Deputy Chair of the Solent Transport Joint Committee and Cabinet Member for Transport at Isle of Wight Council, said “We are pleased with the extension for the provision of e-scooters. E-scooters have proved to be a successful addition to the island’s infrastructure with more than 18,000 users making more than 120,000 journeys. It is good to see even more transport options available in the towns and cities of the Solent region and the continuation of the e-scooter trial complements the recent launch of Beryl Bikes by Breeze.

Southampton: Councillor Eamonn Keogh, Cabinet Member for Transport and District Regeneration at Southampton City Council, said “We are so excited that the e-scooter trial will continue across Southampton. Commuters and visitors to the city can travel around sustainably and at ease with the choice of the rental e-scooters by Voi and our new bike share scheme Beryl Bikes by Breeze, both accessed using the new app Breeze, which also includes a journey planner. The use of the e-scooters in Southampton has far exceeded our expectations for our city, with more than 62,000 users riding in excess of 802,000 times and travelling almost 2,000,000kms. The decision to extend the trial supports our goals to become a greener place to live, work and enjoy”.

Voi: Jim Hubbard, Senior Policy Manager at Voi UK and Ireland, said: ““We are delighted to be continuing our relationship with riders, Portsmouth and Southampton City Councils, the Solent Future Transport Zone and other local stakeholders to improve and deliver a safe, green and convenient service for all. With nearly 1.25m rides to date on the mainland, it shows we all share the same vision of reshaping cities to provide better places to live and work”.

Beryl: Beryl CEO and co-founder, Phil Ellis said: “The numbers show that our e-scooters have proven to be a really popular addition to the Isle of Wight and this extension is a major boost to our aim of inspiring even more people to take up sustainable travel. When planned correctly with local authorities and stakeholders and with the safety of users and pedestrians treated as paramount, e-scooters can offer a fast, fun, clean and inexpensive travel option. The extension of the trial will allow us to gather even further evidence to support this.