New scooter scheme

A NEW e-scooter rental scheme in Bristol and South Gloucestershire will see parking spaces move on to roads instead of pavements.

Expected to be introduced during the spring or summer, the new scheme is also likely to include electric bikes.

Swedish company Voi has run a scooter rental scheme on a trial basis since October 2020.

But a new long-term scheme is now planned and the West of England has opened the contract to other bidders, with a “significant number” expressing an interest in e-bike rental.

Bristol City Council plans to address some issues on “parking and rider behaviour” with the current Voi e-scooters by shifting parking spaces from virtual spots on pavements on to clearly marked areas on the road, as already introduced in London.

A council cabinet report said: “It’s proposed to formalise rental parking hubs, bringing them under Bristol City Council control and physically marking the parking locations. The current model of unmarked virtual parking spaces on pavements selected by the e-scooter operator resulted from the original trial being set up at short notice, and only being planned to run for 12 months.

“With government plans to legalise e-scooters and for rental schemes to operate in the longer term, a more effective parking management regime is required. It’s proposed that the majority of parking hubs are sited on roads rather than pavements.”

Pavement parking will still be used where this does not obstruct pedestrians and where parking is not possible on the road. 

Voi will carry on running e-scooters until a new contract starts,.

The cabinet report said adding e-bikes would improve the range of options available and attract a wider range of people.

By Alex Seabrook, Local Democracy Reporting Service