REDDITCH has finally been given the green light to host the long-awaited e-scooter trials – launching in just a few weeks’ time.
The Borough Council and micro-mobility operator, Bird, have teamed up to bring environmentally-friendly scooters to the town for a minimum of 12 months.
Locals will need to be over 18-years-old, have a driving licence and also the Bird app downloaded on their smartphones.
After launching the app it will show users a map of where the nearest scooters are based.
They will then need to scan the code on top of the Bird to unlock the scooter and start the trip.
Once the person has reached their destination they can park the scooter in any safe location and end the trip via the app.
Bird is hoping to solve ‘the last mile’ problem, where journeys are too short for public transport to be efficient, but too long to walk.
A spokesperson from the company said: “Many of these journeys have traditionally taken place in cars adding to congestion and carbon emissions.
“Bird scooters will give people in Redditch an environmentally friendly alternative to taking a car.
“The trial is also aimed at helping people get around town while remaining socially distant from others.”
For now, the trial zone will be based in the town centre and the scooters will not work beyond that area.
The council has also geofenced areas where the scooters will not be able to access, such as major roads and shopping centres.
Leader of the council, Coun Matt Dormer, said: “We are proud to be joining forces with Bird to revolutionise the way residents and visitors travel around the borough.
“Our part in the e-scooter trials will help shape the future of environmentally friendly modes of travel for the whole of the UK and put our Worcestershire town on the map.”
Rachel Maclean, MP for Redditch and Transport Minister, said: “The trials of rental e-scooters starting in Redditch could offer cleaner, efficient and more affordable travel for local communities.
“Learning from trials already taking place, those in Redditch will see strict safety measures introduced – including license verification and responsible parking incentives, while also helping us better understand any impacts on public spaces.”
Bird will host safe riding events in the near future where it will give away free helmets to riders.