​​Spin celebrates one-year anniversary of Essex e-scooter trial passing 600,000 rides

Spin, the micromobility unit of Ford Motor Company, celebrates its one-year anniversary of public hire e-scooter trials across Essex, passing the 600,000-ride milestone.

Free rides were provided to more than 1,000 NHS workers through Spin’s Everyday Heroes’ programme which has been extended to March 2022. Half-price rides were provided to more than 400 students studying at the University of Essex, Anglia Ruskin University and Writtle University College and to nearly 100 low income individuals via the Spin Access programme. E-scooters in Essex are primarily used for short journeys, on average of 1.8 miles and for the duration of 23 minutes.

One of the trial’s key objectives was to include vulnerable road users’ feedback in the service design and to achieve this Spin and Essex County Council, together with fifteen local accessibility groups have formed the Essex E-Scooter Trial Access Stakeholder Group. They bring together nonprofit organisations* such as Guide Dogs UK, Thomas Pocklington Trust and Royal Association for Deaf people. So far, through their regular meetings they have addressed concerns such as inappropriate e-scooter parking and anti-social behaviour.

On the back of the feedback, Spin, in consultation with the group, is considering various solutions that will aim to mitigate these concerns. Additionally, Spin has trained several members of its team as sensory champions via the Sensory Action Alliance to provide greater knowledge to its operations teams for better safety measures.

Peter Blackman, Chair, Essex E-scooter Trial Stakeholder Group said: “Community organisations are pleased that during the first year, Spin and the local authorities established this stakeholder group. We coordinated feedback from Essex residents, visitors, vulnerable people and local groups, and have addressed issues that have been raised, leading to increased safety. If legislation continues to authorise e-scooters, all schemes must have groups like this to ensure that vulnerable people and the public have the ear of operators, as this has proved to be invaluable.”

As part of Spin’s commitment to safe riding, it has organised 26 free in-person safe riding training events in Essex, in which more than 800 members of the public have participated. Spin has handed out 1,500 complimentary helmets to its Essex riders since its launch. The company has also worked closely with the UK’s road safety organisation The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) to understand general road users’ concerns of private and public e-scooters, which prompted an e-scooter safety roundtable discussion this autumn.

This anniversary follows the recent announcement of the extension of Spin’s e-scooter hire scheme in Essex until November 2022, as part of the Department for Transport (TfL) trials. Essex Spin riders have now taken more than 600,000 e-scooter rides. Chelmsford has seen the most rides (206,000), followed by Colchester (203,000), Basildon (156,000) and Clacton-on-Sea (40,000) where the trial concluded in October 2021. Spin continues to operate a different model in Brentwood and Braintree where customers can hire an e-scooter long-term, on a monthly basis, while also considering launching short-term hire, similar to that in its other Essex markets.

Steve Pyer, UK General Manager at Spin, said, “We are excited to see the rapid rate of Essex residents adopting this greener, faster alternative to car travel – it’s clear that e-scooters have become an integral part of the local transport ecosystems for many. E-scooters are a crucial mode of transport to help keep UK cities moving, especially during times when we may want to keep more social distance. We will continue to work closely with the local authorities and various stakeholder groups to ensure continued success of the trials.”