Ford-owned micromobility company Spin has secured an e-scooter trial tender in Basildon, Essex, UK.
Spin will launch the service on 7 December with 50 e-scooters available to unlock and rent via its mobile app.
It marks the first rental e-scooters available in the area, with Spin working with Essex County Council to expand into five more Essex-based locations over the coming months.
In July the UK government legalised e-scooter trials in select locations around the country. Since then a handful of e-scooter operators have been bidding for contracts from city councils.
The Department for Transport is assessing the results of the trials to see if e-scooters provide a safe and more environmentally friendly form of transport.
The Spin App will show recommended parking spots and require riders to park the scooters in designated areas in places that are busy.
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It costs 0.20p per minute to ride a Spin e-scooter, with no fee to unlock the vehicle.
Spin Essex e-scooter trial: Part of UK expansion
Spin is predominantly active in the US, but is looking to expand in the UK. It is already operating in Milton Keynes.
When Spin launches in Basildon it will offer subsidised rates to NHS workers in the area.
“Our aim is to develop an affordable and reliable service that gives the local community of more than 100,000 residents a more sustainable, fun and socially-distanced way to travel around the town,” said Steve Pyer, UK Country Manager at Spin.
“To achieve this, we are taking a community-centred, consultative approach with local authorities, with public safety as a top priority. Unlike private e-scooters that are still illegal in the UK, we have much more control of the e-scooters speed and the areas where people can ride.
“As this is part of the national trials we’ll be closely monitoring it and sharing findings and feedback with the Department for Transport and local authorities and fine-tune operations as and when needed.”
Chairman of the Neighbourhoods and Public Spaces Committee Councillor David Harrison said: “This is an exciting initiative that offers an environmentally friendly travel option at a time when we are working hard to improve air quality in the borough.”