Yeovil E-Scooter trial is top performing in the UK
The e-scooter trial awarded to SSDC by the Department for Transport (DfT), in partnership with Britain’s leading micro-mobility operator Zwings, has started its seventh week in Yeovil. The scheme is fully funded by Zwings.
User data so far, shows that the initial success of the launch week from 22 October is continuing, with increasing numbers of users, parking bays and routes around the town.
Residents and visitors are embracing this new mode of travel and are switching to Zwings’ e-scooters as an alternative, eco-friendly, socially distanced way to travel about the town.
How do we know this?
In the first ten days, 878 people signed up and made 925 journeys using a small fleet of e-scooters. By the 30th November records were set with a total of 3,791 rides accumulating an amazing 10,035 miles (further than the distance between the UK and Australia!) Go Yeovil!
During the November lockdown, usage continued and was helped by the fantastic free e-scoot offer for NHS and emergency workers, this, coupled with the fact that it’s a healthier, socially distanced, environmentally friendly mode of transport that’s good for wellbeing when travelling for local journeys out in the fresh air. Many of the Yeovil’s e-scooter stats remain well above the national trial average and is testament to the popularity and demand for e-scooters in the town.
The average ride time is 28.58 minutes and the average journey distance is 2.65 miles, which is more than 30% higher than the global industry average in other counties confirming that e-scooters are a viable replacement for short and medium length car journeys in Yeovil
Zwings manage and maintain the e-scooters using an electric motorised van and both the van and the e-scooters batteries are charged with a 100% renewable energy supply.
There were some challenges
Whilst every measure possible was put in place for a smooth launch, there are always challenges to overcome, and as this is a trial it will continue to be a learning process throughout the duration. From day one the uptake was very encouraging, though understandably when introducing something new, there were concerns from some residents around safety, misuse and the suitability of e-scooter bay locations and e-scoot zones.
These were quickly rectified with a couple of bays relocated to more usable locations and new ones added. The e-scooters are fitted with state of the art GPS technology, ensuring they are; used only in the designated trial areas, are relocated within the correct parking bays, prevent loss or theft and enable the speed to be regulated in slow zones. The beauty of this technology enables Zwings to instantly review and make adjustments, as and when required, during this 12-month trial period.
Our partner operator Zwings continues to work closely with stakeholders to keep fine tuning the model to bring the best user experience and safety. They are determined to keep their operation at the forefront of e-scooter travel and are already looking at introducing new improved technology and interactivity to both the e-scooters themselves and with users, further promoting safety and rewarding responsible scooting.
Who is using them?
The e-scooters are being used for commuting as well as for recreational purposes in some of our more scenic parts of town like Yeovil Country Park towards the southern area of the town. However, with the implementation of new scooter bay locations into the residential areas, interconnectivity has increased to show a better spread of journeys, especially the commuter corridors to the Lufton and Lynx Trading Estates, showing e-scooters are being used to commute to places of work and shopping outlets as a sustainable and socially distanced mode of travel. This, along with special discount offers for new users and free lockdown offers for NHS and emergency workers, has meant more and more people are giving them a go. Zwings continue to engage with the community and using this feedback, are increasing and adjusting e-scooter locations and availability to meet demand.
SSDC Portfolio Holder for Environment Councillor Sarah Dyke said: “The latest data from Zwings is really encouraging. We’re delighted that residents and visitors to Yeovil are championing this new initiative and replacing their local car journeys. This environmentally friendly choice of transport is contributing to our Environment Strategy aims; to improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and based on current usage, could reduce car use in the town by 10-15%. Equally as important, swapping your car for an e-scooter and getting out in the fresh air is beneficial for physical and mental wellbeing, which we all need right now.”
Where can I find them and are more locations going to be rolled out?
There are 20 parking bays across the trial zone, with six restricted zones and slow-speed zones where e-scooters either lose all acceleration or their speed is capped. For example, the highly pedestrian areas in the town centre are no-go zones around which there are slow-speed zones, covering parts of Middle Street and the High Street. Other restricted zones are located at Yeovil Cemetery, Yeovil Hospital, Tesco and Yeovil Leisure Park.
By popular request there will soon be two more new locations at Pen Mill Trading Estate and Wyndham Park. Zwings requests that all feedback, questions and suggestions of parking bays is sent directly to them and not to the council. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Feel free to also call the Zwings in house community support phone line: +44 20 3882 0611
Zwings e-scooter latest offers
There are currently two great offers to get you e-scooting. If you haven’t already, sign up to the Zwings App and follow the instructions.
- Offer One - Enter code Switchtoscoot to get 20 minutes free (offer ends 10th January 2021)
- Offer Two - Complete the Zwings sustainability survey and be rewarded with £5 free credit on your account.
Follow @Zwings on social media for all the latest news and offers.
Please e-scoot safely by answering the training questions on sign up, and please e-scoot responsibility by keeping aware of others around you, and them of you by using the integrated bell when needed.
The scooters are great fun, however they are not toys and should be treated with the same respect and road awareness as any other vehicle. To sign up as a user you will need to be a minimum of 16 years old with a valid provisional or full driving licence and you must be the one using the e-scooter to validate the Zwings insurance. Misuse, like with any other vehicle use, will be subject to driving license penalties and fines.
Over the coming festive period, Zwings are deploying E-Scooter Angels around the town to help to ensure everyone is e-scooting responsibly, especially making sure the e-scooters are not illegally used under the influence of alcohol. Please do get in touch with the Zwings team to direct all of your feedback and questions. You can also find a list of frequently asked questions here.
Wishing you all a safe, healthy and happy e-scooting Christmas! #ZwinginghomeforChristmas! #switchtoscoot
Zwings recognises that whilst the e-scooter trial in South Somerset has proven to be in high demand they remain eager to clamp down on misuse in order to enhance safety for both riders and the wider community.
- Click here to report misuse via a dedicated URL. This form allows Zwings to receive a clearer description of reported incidents so that their team can take the appropriate mitigation action, via our 2 strike policy e.g. assertive education, fines, account suspensions and reports to police.
- Click here to view our "Frequently asked questions" for the South Somerset's e-scooter trial
Zwings are continuing to introduce and develop initiatives and technologies to enhance safety in order to further the success of the trial on behalf of the South Somerset community. They welcome you to learn more about the rules and benefits of e-scooting via their website.
They are offering a special discount for our local community to enjoy 15 minutes of FREE e-scooting to help new and existing riders enjoy their sustainable transport service for trips across town. Use: southsomerset15 in the Zwings app.