Free e-scooter rides for NHS staff as trial begins in Chelmsford

NHS workers are being offered free e-scooter rides as a trial hits Chelmsford.

Chelmsford has become the second Essex-location where 50 Spin e-scooters are available for hire as part of a trial to understand whether the mode of transport can be a viable part of a greener and healthier future for Essex.

Working with its commercial partner Spin – the micro mobility unit of Ford Motor Company – as well as district, borough and city councils and Essex Police – e-scooter trials are being rolled out as part of Essex County Council’s (ECC) safer, greener, healthier transport campaign.

Spin’s Everyday Heroes programme will be available immediately so that Chelmsford’s NHS workers can benefit from free 30 minute e-scooter rides to get to work and home with a socially distanced means of transport.

Spin is looking to engage with Broomfield Hospital and other NHS facilities to discuss potential e-scooter parking areas nearby for easier access to riders to their facilities.

This marks the beginning of a phased rollout of Spin’s fleet that will be managed in close collaboration with Chelmsford City Council and ECC.

With pilot approval from the Department of Transport now obtained, the innovative trials in Essex will see Spin provide and manage an e-scooter rental system in defined areas of Basildon, Braintree, Brentwood, Chelmsford and Colchester.

Private e-scooters are currently still illegal on public roads in the UK. However, the Department for Transport is running a number of UK-wide trials, including Spin’s, where anyone over the age of 18 with a valid driving licence can legally hire an e-scooter.

Chelmsford City Council’s cabinet member for sustainable development, Councillor Mike Mackrory, said: “This trial will provide an opportunity to promote sustainable travel options, particularly for short trips and commuting, reduce traffic congestion and cut carbon emissions.

“It will also benefit people to access their workplace in Chelmsford while social distancing is in place on public transport.”

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Piers Meyler

Local Democracy Reporter