Wind Mobility has been appointed to operate a 12-month electric scooter trial in Nottingham and Derby.
The German/Spanish micromobility company with the bright yellow e-scooters, superhero-style branding and operations in more than 40 patches across Europe, the Middles East and Asia, will get started on Tuesday 27 October 2020 (next week) with 200 scooters available in Nottingham (Derby to be confirmed).
Riders can hire the Wind 3.0 e-scooters by the minute, as per other shared schemes. What’s new for Nottingham and Derby is that key workers can also keep a scooter for long periods, anywhere from a month to the whole year. It costs £30/month for this “take home” service (plus a £50 refundable deposit), which includes a helmet and a charging cable. Wind will offer free regular maintenance check-ups.
Nottingham residents interested in the long-term option can sign-up here.
Users must be at least 16, which opens up the customer base to a wider demographic than other schemes in the UK, most of which specify a minimum age of 18. And the per-minute fee is among the cheapest we’ve seen yet in the UK at 12p/min.
Geofencing will limit scooters to a top speed of 4mph in Nottingham town centre. Wind scooters come with a neatly-integrated helmet and storage unit and built-in hand sanitiser, and the fleet operator will also provide a 24-hour helpline for the public to report inconsiderate riding or bad parking.
“E-scooters will provide a greener travel option for people travelling in Nottingham,” said Adele Williams, Nottingham City Council’s portfolio holder for transport, in an official statement. “This has become especially important as we plan our recovery from Covid-19 and try to encourage people to travel in different ways while social distancing is in place. E-scooters offer the potential for convenient, clean and affordable travel, and reduce journeys made by car to ease congestion and lower harmful emissions.”
“There’s no doubt that [e-scooters] offer a cheap and clean way to travel around Derby, improving not just the air quality in our city, but also the user’s physical and mental health at a time when that is more important than ever,” commented Matthew Holmes, cabinet member for regeneration, planning and transportation at Derby City Council, in the release. “Obviously with any trial for a new mode of personal transport, I’m sure there will be some teething problems to work out and assess. Ensuring this is a safe mode of transport and one that is embraced by all is the priority. We have listened and will continue to listen to any concerns raised as the trial progresses, and feedback from the users themselves, cyclists, other road users and pedestrians is going to be vital.”