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Voi launches a long-term rental scheme in North Devon

An electric scooter parked in front of the entrance to a building

Voi adds another milestone to its journey in the UK with the launch of the first e-scooter trial outside a major urban area.

The long term rental scheme now launching will allow Petroc staff and students to keep their scooters with them for a fixed period of time, offering them a convenient and affordable green mode of transport.

The launch of the scheme aims at improving access to the college’s Sticklepath campus and ease congestion during peak times. Petroc’s students and staff will be able to move around the Barnstaple without having to use a car with associated benefits to air quality.

Similar to the long term rental scheme currently available in Bath and Bristol, e-scooter will have their speed capped at 12.5mph, below the speed recommended by the DfT (15.5mph). Voi also worked closely with the local council and Petroc to create a geofenced area, including no ride and slow ride zones, to ensure rider and other road user safety.

Staff and students who sign up for the long term rental scooter at Petroc will receive a Voi scooter, a helmet, which they are encouraged to wear, and a lock. All users will be incentivised to complete the RidelikeVoila traffic school and join one of Voi’s free online webinars where they could learn how to ride and park e-scooters safely.

An e-scooter is parked in front of a billboard

Chief Executive of North Devon Council, Ken Miles, says: “We are excited to be working with Voi and Petroc on the first phase of the e-scooter trial. We are working in close collaboration with Devon and Cornwall Police to help ensure the safety and viability of the trial over the 12-month period. We also look forward to starting a second phase of the trial, which will be a ‘pay-as-you-go’ system for tourists, which we hope to have in place for the holiday season.”

Vice Principal at Petroc, Bill Blythe, says: “We see this as a great opportunity for our students and staff to take part in an innovative trial of a new mode of transport, reducing our carbon footprint and supporting the Department of Transport in assessing the way that e-scooters can operate safely in the context of a rural college. Being part of a pilot allows us to support our students and staff to learn to ride e-scooters safely with the support of the college, Voi and the council. As a college that is committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2035 these sort of initiatives are critical.”

Jack Samler, General Manager at Voi UK and Ireland, says: “We are excited to launch our rental scheme in the beautiful coastal area of North Devon. We believe rural areas can benefit from this new green mode of transport, particularly those with large student or business campuses or with seasonal influxes of population.

“Our long-term rental scheme, now available for Petroc staff and students, helps tackle the transport challenges in the area whilst offering a practical, flexible, cost-effective and carbon-neutral alternative to short car rides. Moving forward, we will continue to work closely with the North Devon Council to launch the short term rental trial in the region on time for the summer season.”

North Devon is the latest area to host a Voi e-scooter trial. Earlier this year, Voi launched trials in Oxford, Portsmouth and Southampton.

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