The Isle of Wight Council, Solent Transport and British micromobility provider Beryl are co-developing plans for an e-Scooter pilot program on the Isle of Wight as part of a trial being considered across the Solent area.
If confirmed, this will be part of a national trial sponsored by the Department for Transport being delivered through Solent Transport’s, Future Transport Zone programme.
If successful up to 75 e-Scooters will initially be available to hire from ‘Beryl Bays’ on the Island from November, as part of a measured rollout that ensures Beryl and the Isle of Wight Council can develop operational details in partnership with relevant stakeholders and the wider community.
Beryl’s innovative hybrid parking model, that encourages riders to park in geo-fenced bays, will provide residents and visitors to the Isle of Wight with sustainable and affordable transport that does not impede on the Island’s social infrastructure.
The e-Scooter pilot programme requires no direct funding from the Isle of Wight Council and is the first of many trials planned by Solent Transport. The partnership body representing Isle of Wight Council, Hampshire County Council, Portsmouth City Council and Southampton City Council, is awaiting approval from DfT to introduce a 12-month trial scheme of rental e-Scooters in a number of areas across the region.
E-Scooters cannot currently be used legally in the UK, except on private land, but confirmation of the trial by the DfT would trigger legislation meaning e-Scooters hired from the approved operator could be used in the designated trial area only.
Beryl e-Scooters, which will be able to be hired through the Beryl app and in the future through a ‘Solent Go’ Solent-wide smart card and travel app, will only be legally allowed on the road and cycle lanes, not on pavements. They must be picked up from and parked at a network of specially marked Beryl Bays located on the street and in the Beryl app. Users will be required to provide a valid UK Driving License, while all of Beryl’s e-Scooters have a speed cap at 12.5mph and can be restricted by the operator where lower speeds are deemed necessary.
Beryl CEO Philip Ellis said:
“The Isle of Wight is a fantastic place to host these e-Scooter trials and Beryl is excited to give the Island an opportunity to play a leading role in transforming how the UK travels in a greener and safer way post COVID-19. With the Isle of Wight part of Solent Transport’s Future Transport Zone it is exciting to be working in a region with an ambitious vision for mobility innovation.”
“We are proud to provide an e-Scooter that meets the highest safety standards, and will offer every user with a comfortable and smooth ride. We look forward to working with the Isle of Wight Council and Solent Transport, as well as other key organisations from the police to local disability groups to ensure all residents and visitors are positively impacted by this trial.”
Councillor Ian Ward, Cabinet member for transport and infrastructure for Isle of Wight Council and Chair of the Solent Transport Joint Committee, said:
“We welcome this trial to the Isle of Wight. E-scooters could help the Island not only as we emerge from this pandemic but as we look to tackle climate change by offering a greener and healthier alternative to the car for many journeys.”
For more information on Beryl, visit www.beryl.cc.