Slough’s e-scooter rental trial gets underway today, with 250 bright orange vehicles distributed across the town.
The 12-month trial, operated by Neuron Mobility in partnership with Slough Borough Council, will provide the town with a clean, green and socially-distanced alternative to cars and other forms of transport.
Riders, who are over 18 and hold a full or provisional driving licence, are now able to book and use the e-scooters through Neuron’s user-friendly app, which can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play and set up in a matter of minutes. Single trips will cost £1 to unlock the e-scooter and 18 pence per minute after that.
More frequent users have the option to purchase Neuron Passes, a subscription service, available in three-day (£15), weekly (£22), or monthly (£36) options. The packages will allow users to ride as many times as they want for up to 90 minutes per day for a fixed affordable price. This will result in no additional unlocking fees and savings of up to 90%.
The e-scooters are GPS-enabled and Neuron and the Council are using geofencing technology to control the riding area and create dedicated parking zones and no-go zones in specific areas across the town to improve safety. There will be over 60 parking stations with 25 of these in the town centre. All parking stations are highlighted in the app and also marked on the ground for visibility, users will have to scan a QR-code to end their trip. Each e-scooter is fitted with a unique license plate number for easy identification and to promote responsible use.
A dedicated safety team has been deployed by Neuron as part of the trial. They will be armed with hospital-grade disinfectant to keep e-scooters and helmets clean and germ-free. They will also be moving e-scooters to where they are needed most, assisting new riders with signing up on the app, and will deliver practical tips for safe riding.
As Australia and New Zealand’s leading e-scooter operator, Neuron has a strong track record of operating during COVID-19 restrictions. Unlike several of their competitors, they continued operations throughout the pandemic in Australia, supporting cities and providing free passes to public health workers.
The distinctive orange e-scooters have an impressive range of world’s-first safety features and pioneering innovations which include: Geofencing technology to control where e-scooters are ridden and parked, and how fast they can travel in certain areas; an app-controlled helmet lock that secures a safety helmet to the e-scooters between trips to benefit safety-conscious riders; a topple detection feature that can detect if an e-scooter has been left on its side which then alerts an operations team to reposition it safely; a 999 emergency button which can tell if someone has had a fall and helps the rider call the emergency services; voice guidance to educate and warn riders of how to ride safely; and, a “Follow my Ride” feature that allows the rider’s friends and family to track an e-scooter trip in real time for added safety and peace of mind.
Zachary Wang, CEO of Neuron Mobility, said: “We are delighted to have launched in Slough today, it’s a great location and ideally suited to benefit from e-scooters. Our e-scooters are a safe and convenient way to get around particularly for those who wish to practice social distancing. We look forward to continuing our work with Slough Borough Council, and the wider community, to integrate into the town in the best possible way.”
He continued: “Safety is our top priority, it dictates our e-scooter design and also the way we operate them. Our N3 e-scooters are jam-packed with cutting-edge safety features and our safety course and riding guidelines have been co-developed with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), the UK’s leading accident prevention charity.”
Cllr Rob Anderson, Slough Borough Council Cabinet Member for Transport and the Environment, said: “This is an exciting first for Slough. We are leading the way in the use of alternative electric vehicles and the potential benefits of their use in the future.”
“The town’s bus lanes, including the current experimental lanes on the A4, will be able to be used by the rental scooters leading to them being an attractive and sustainable way to travel in the borough.”
Riding rental e-scooters became legal on the UK’s roads on 4 July, 2020. Speed will be capped at 15.5 mph and they will share the same road space as bicycles including low speed roads, cycleways and tracks. Privately-owned electric scooters remain outlawed on public land in the UK.