COLCHESTER’S trial e-scooters are helping get residents out of their cars and using more sustainable modes of transport, according to new research by the firm running the scheme.

According to survey data from Spin, the micromobility unit of Ford Motor Company which is running the trial, 82 per cent of riders had opted to use an e-scooter instead of driving alone at least once.

If the e-scooters were not available, 31 per cent of the 519 Essex respondents said they would have used a car for their most recent trip.

Almost half, or 44 per cent, of riders said they used an e-scooter to connect with public transport at least once with 86 per cent saying the vehicles felt safer than traditional public transport during the pandemic.

According to the survey, 38 per cent of users had used an e-scooter rather than walking their journey.

The e-scooters are part of Essex County Council’s Safer, Greener, Healthier campaign, which is aiming to boost sustainable transport use across the county.

Spin operates more than 500 of the vehicles in Colchester, with the trial first launching in February.

Spin e-scooter listed for sale on Facebook in Colchester


Results from the survey will be fed into the analysis of the trial scheme and help decide whether it continues.

Lee Scott, County Hall’s highways maintenance and sustainable transport boss, said: “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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Two huge new cycle routes are proposed in Colchester linking the west and east of the town and north and south.

Steve Pyer, UK country manager at Spin, added: “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 high street to shop or socialise.”

A total of 519 Spin riders responses were analysed from trial areas in Brentwood, Braintree, Basildon, Colchester, Chelmsford and Clacton.