E-Scooters have finally arrived in Corby.
Corby Council confirmed late last night that the scooters were finally arriving for a trial on the borough’s streets this morning (Thursday, February 25).
The nippy vehicles have sparked controversy when they launched in other towns – with some vehicles being dumped in strange places or under-18s trying to hire them. But many users say they are game-changing ways to get about town.
During trials in Kettering and Northampton, riders have already taken nearly 200,000 trips on them.
E-scooters, which use electric motors, are seen as green alternatives to public transport and car sharing which have both been partly responsible for Corby’s struggle to get its Covid rates under control.
Initially, there will be 50 scooters available to rent in Corby, from 4am to 11pm.
To ride a scooter, users need to be 18 years old and over, are required to download the Voi app, available for free on Apple App Store or Google Play, and will have to present a valid driving license.
Speeds are capped at 10mph.
The scooters, opersted by private company Voi, will provide access to a number of key employment areas in the town, including the Earlstrees, Weldon North and Willowbrook industrial estates, as well as the train station and Corby Community Hospital. These areas were specifically created to support necessary transport to key employment areas.
It costs £1 to unlock the scooter and then £0.20 per minute of usage.There are also 24-hour and 30-day subscriptions.
Voi also offers discounts for students, those on low income and is currently offering free rides for NHS and Emergency Service workers.
Voi will be providing information and introductory offers that employers in the operating area can extend to their employees for ride credits. The aim is to encourage the use of e-scooters and avoid the need for car sharing.
Regulations allow shared e-scooters to use the same road spaces as bikes, including cycle lanes. Riding on pavements is strictly prohibited.
Voi’s e-scooters are cleaned and disinfected regularly to ensure that they cannot become a source of infection. The scooter handlebars have a special material that inhibits viruses and bacteria’s transmission, offering antibacterial, bactericidal and antiviral protection. Voi also encourages its users to use hand sanitiser and wear gloves and helmets.
Jason Smithers, Cabinet Member for Highways and Place for Northamptonshire County Council said: “We’re thrilled to be extending the e-scooter programme to include Corby. The trials in Northampton and Kettering are already providing a real boost in improving access to greener, more sustainable and affordable transport. For this reason, we’re confident the e-scooters will prove to be just as popular in Corby and that our residents will reap the benefits of this alternative mode of travel.
“Voi has excelled in bringing these schemes to life across Northamptonshire and we’re very pleased to continue working with them to deliver major transformation in our county.
“Of course, rider safety is our number one concern and, with this in mind, we ask that users adhere to the new lockdown rules from central government, using the e-scooters only for essential journeys at the present time.”
Leader of Corby Borough Council, Cllr Tom Beattie, said: “At a time when Covid-19 rates are high in Corby, I welcome this initiative to get those who cannot work from home to their workplace safely. It is important that we continue to work together in order to get the rates down and avoiding car sharing and using public transport is one way to do this. If you are unable to drive a car or have been relying on buses to get to and from work, I would urge you to consider this new, modern way of travelling.”
Lucy Wightman, Director of Public Health at Northamptonshire County Council said: “This is a really exciting development that will help to provide an alternative to public transport and car sharing in Corby. I have said throughout the pandemic that where possible, it is safer to travel alone, as car sharing and using public transport can pose a higher risk of COVID-19 transmission than travelling alone.
Richard Corbett, Regional General Manager of UK, Ireland and Benelux for Voi, said:
“Following our successful launch in Northampton and Kettering, where combined we have seen over 192,500 rides so far, we are overjoyed to see the trial expanding into Corby.
Voi e-scooters play an essential role in getting people, particularly key workers, to move around safely while COVID is prevalent. E-scooters can easily be integrated with public transport, replacing short car journeys, ultimately creating safer and healthier places to live and work.”