Electrifying Essex: county proposes six e-scooter pilot areas

Under an ambitious programme, six Essex towns and cities will get 12-month scooter trials.

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Six Essex towns and cities could get electric scooter trials under proposals drawn up Essex County Council.

The programme is split into six lots and is currently out to tender.

“We are proposing the 12-month pilots are run in Basildon, Braintree, Brentwood, Chelmsford, Clacton-on-Sea and Colchester,” a council spokesperson told Zag today. “However these are subject to approval from the Department for Transport and the identification of an approved supplier.”

The council is open-minded about the number of micromobility operators, with firms being able to bid for any number of lots. “Providers are able to submit a proposal for one to six areas. There will only be one provider in each lot/area, so we will have between one and six service providers.”

Most other UK scooter trials have not disclosed the estimated investment required to run trials, with operators are footing the bill. The West Midlands contract is said to require around £12m investment.

ECC has this to say: “£1.2m is an estimated value across all six areas. This was determined through an analysis of schemes in other locations and anonymised input from market operators. There isn’t any funding for ECC; we’re applying for the right to run a pilot but there is no funding attached to the bid.”

Once the tender call closes to entrants, on 15 September, the council will then need to submit its proposals to DfT for approval; contracts are expected to begin on 01 October and run until 01 November 2021 (although scooters may not be available for the same period).

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Photography by

Filip Gierlinski / Spacesuit Media