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First Month of the Beryl E-Scooters Trial - a great success!

Six weeks in and the initial success of the e-Scooter trial shows there is huge potential for sustainable transport alternatives.  Martin Jolly, Operations Lead for Beryl in Bournemouth Christchurch and Poole tells us why.

E-scooter launch 2

The Department for Transport (DfT) backed Transforming Travel e-Scooter trial is currently underway in Bournemouth and Poole.   The trial, involving our type-approved Beryl e-Scooters is one of over 25 trials currently running across the country looking at the potential for e-Scooters as an environmentally friendly alternative to local car travel. The feedback from all these trials will assist the Department for Transport in determining future National Policy.

So far, the Bournemouth and Poole trial has been a great success.  Our latest usage figures give a clear indication that this new mode of travel is proving highly popular.  Beryl e-Scooters have been available to hire since the end of January and in this first six weeks, the fleet of 54 has collectively travelled 45,900 miles and been used for over 8,000 journeys by 4290 individual riders.

About the trial 

The UK Government, through the DfT has temporarily changed the regulations on e-Scooter usage to allow hire schemes, like the one Beryl is running in Bournemouth and Poole, to take place across the country, to help shape future National Policy on e-Scooters.

During the trial:

  • The e-Scooters need to be a specific type approved for the trials.
  • The top speed must be limited to 12.5mph.
  • Hirers need to have a full or provisional driving licence and be over 16 years of age.
  • The rental scooters can be ridden on public roads in Bournemouth and Poole as well as on the expanding network of signed cycle lanes and cycle/shared-use facilities.  A map of the trial area is available here.
  • They are not allowed to be ridden on pavements, pedestrianised areas, nor outside of the trial zone.
  • Insurance is provided as part of the hire agreement.
  • It remains illegal for private e-Scooters to be ridden on roads, pavements, or in any public spaces.

Positive environmental impact

Results from the end of trip surveys, sent to a rider’s app upon completion of the trip, shows that 15.3% of respondents said they would have otherwise taken a car. One of the main reasons for the DfT trial is to investigate the use of alternative sustainable transport so as to help reduce congestion and pollution, so positive responses like this really help to bolster the evidence that the e-Scooters are reducing private car usage. 

In addition, all indications to date show that Beryl’s e-Scooters are being ridden responsibly, with very few reported incidents or misuse. 

Residents of Bournemouth and Poole have already warmed to the idea of e-Scooting, but it is hoped that the e-Scooters will also prove popular for visitors to the area, once lock-down restrictions are lifted, helping to reduce congestion during the busy summer months.

Data capture

Just like our Beryl Bikes, our e-Scooters are all fitted with GPS tracking and data telemetry, which provide us with valuable insights on how the e-Scooters are being used, where they are going, and popular start points and end destinations. It also helps to keep track of their performance and when batteries need swapping out and re-charging.

The trial will help the council establish how the e-Scooters are used and how they interact with other road users.  It is our hope that eventually everyone will be able to enjoy the benefits of sustainable travel, offering an alternative to the car, with an ambition to help reduce congestion and improve air quality in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.

More on private e-scooters

At present, privately owned e-Scooters are treated as Personal Light Electric Vehicles (PLEV) and are illegal to use on public roads. Police can stop riders and seize privately owned e-Scooters as well as fine the riders.  Privately owned e-scooters can currently only be used on private land.

Enforcement of the rules for private e-scooters is a matter for the Police and anyone wishing to report their misuse should call 111 in the first instance.  Beryl is working with BCP Council and the Dorset Police to deliver a safe and well-regulated e-Scooter hire scheme that meets the rules laid down by the DfT for the trial.

Remember to ride safe 

Safety is a top priority for Beryl and BCP Council, and there are a number of policies and initiatives to make sure our vehicles become a positive addition to the transport mix.

All riders must hold a UK-valid full or provisional driving licence and be over 16 before they can ride. You will only be allowed to ride if you have registered for an account and had your licence verified via the Beryl app and should only pick up and park the scooters in a marked Beryl Bay.

Our industry leading e-Scooters are GPS enabled so we can keep track of them and ensure they are ridden and parked correctly. Please remember to also be considerate to the comfort and safety of others whilst riding.

Where can you ride?

As an e-scooter has a similar presence in terms of size and visibility to a bicycle, they are permitted to be ridden on public roads and cycling routes in Poole and Bournemouth including the Seafront. However, like cycling, they will not be permitted to operate along the Promenade from 10am – 6pm in July and August as per the current No Cycling restriction. 

If you're new to using our e-Scooters, there is much useful guidance in the Beryl app about how to ride safely. Riders can also find guidance on our Riding a Beryl e-Scooter web page.

Tips for using Beryl e-Scooters during the Bournemouth and Poole trial:

  • Avoid any roads with a speed limit over 30mph.
  • Check over your shoulder regularly and before moving within a lane.
  • Give yourself time to practise in a low traffic area, especially if it’s your first ride.
  • Stay in your lane and avoid weaving through traffic.

You must not:

  • Register with another person’s driving licence.
  • Ride on pavements, pedestrian areas or anywhere indoors.
  • Ride using someone else’s Beryl account.
  • Ride with a passenger.
  • Ride under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

What to wear:

  • A helmet.
  • Clothing that allows you to look over your shoulder.
  • Reflective or highly visible clothing.
  • Remove headphones or earpods.

To report any misuse of Beryl e-Scooters contact support@beryl.cc or call 02030035044 to tell us the time, date and location of the incident. We operate a strict policy and do not tolerate misuse.