Essex goes green as residents opt for e-scooters over cars

New travel data has shown that people in Essex are leaving their cars at home and are opting to use e-scooters instead.

Travel behaviour survey data released by Spin, the micro-mobility unit of Ford Motor Company, revealed that riders across Essex have shifted their travel behaviour since the introduction of the shared hire scheme.

This ‘mode shift’ is expected to reduce the number of cars on the road and deliver a significant environmental impact across the region. More than three-quarters (82%) of Spin users have opted for a ride with an e-scooter instead of driving alone at least once since the scheme has launched.

Furthermore, had the hire scheme not been available in Essex, one-third (31%) of the respondents would have used a car for their most recent journey instead of a scooter.

Survey data shows that e-scooters form an essential part of journeys where people reach their destinations by using more than one means of transport. During a typical week, half of the riders take two to ten e-scooter journeys in Spin’s service areas.

Riders see the e-scooter scheme as a good alternative to public transport, especially during the pandemic. Nine out of ten riders (86%) also consider the e-scooter hire scheme as a safer option than public transport in terms of Covid-19 health concerns. Furthermore, 38% of the users would have walked in absence of the e-scooter hire scheme.

Commenting on e-scooter schemes leading to a healthier, greener Essex, Steve Pyer, UK country manager at Spin said: “It’s exciting to see the shift in rider behaviour in Essex to a more sustainable transport mode, similar to what we have found among our customer base in Milton Keynes.

“Whether riders are looking for greener modes of transport or not, the demand for e-scooters is there, and the more people that use them, the more we can positively impact the environment and health of the community. We anticipate these trends to continue upwards especially with Covid-19 restrictions being lifted across the UK and more people once again travelling to work, popping to the highstreet to shop or socialise.”

Cllr Lee Scott, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Highways Maintenance and Sustainable Transport, said: “Essex County Council has an oversight role for this trial, which will feed into our evaluation once this initial trial period is over. However, these figures released from Spin are encouraging, suggesting e-scooter travel in the trial areas is replacing car journeys, supporting our overall ambition to make Essex safer, greener and healthier.

“This e-scooter trial is just one initiative of our campaign to promote active travel – a consultation launched last week gives all residents of Essex an opportunity to comment on our latest proposals to encourage cycling and walking in the county.”

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