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 roll out 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 currently operates an e-Scooter scheme in Norwich and bike share schemes across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole, Watford, Norwich, Hereford and the City of London.
Beryl and the Isle of Wight Council hope the introduction of the e-Scooter hire scheme will encourage a switch to a greener mode of transport for shorter journeys.
Hire e-Scooters can also boost local economies by providing income opportunities and an increase in foot traffic along high streets and other commercial areas.
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.”
Cllr 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.”
Beryl was founded as Blaze in 2012 by Emily Brooke with the vision of becoming world leaders in urban cycling technology.
The brand’s first product, the Laserlight, was created to tackle the biggest problem for city cyclists: being caught in the blind spot. Beryl has been shipping the Laserlight to more than 60 countries worldwide since late 2013.
The following years saw the launch of new consumer products, the integration of our core laser technology into the bike share bicycles of London and New York and the co-designing of the new Santander Cycles for London.
In Spring 2018, Blaze was renamed to Beryl coinciding with the tipping point of a new era for the company, an evolution marking the next step in their mission to get more people on bikes in cities.
In 2018, Beryl launched two dockless bike share schemes in London for corporate clients and has now expanded to multiple city-wide schemes.
Beryl is also accredited as a B-Corp and by CoMoUK, which is the agreed standard of Best Practice for the industry.
Beryl now operates leading bike share schemes in Bournemouth and Poole, Hereford, Hackney, Watford, Norwich and the City of London. It will shortly be launching on Staten Island in New York. beryl.cc/bikeshare
About Solent Transport
Solent Transport is a proactive sub regional transport partnership composed of: Portsmouth, Southampton, the Isle of Wight and Hampshire County Council.
The partnership creates a platform for joint working, standards and partnership leading to innovation, excellence and parity in transport provision across the Solent Transport area.
The partnership works strategically with private industry, key stakeholders and other agencies to deliver transport infrastructure, networks and systems crucial to keep the region moving and generate economic growth, wealth and sustainability.
About Future Transport Zones
Solent Transport won £29m from the Department for Transport (DfT) to implement innovative future transport solutions around personal mobility and freight movements.
The funding means the Solent area will benefit from several innovative transport solutions including: smartphone apps for planning and paying for sustainable journeys demand, e-bike share scheme, and new approaches to freight distribution, including drone freight trials for NHS deliveries across the Solent to the Isle of Wight.
The three-year Solent Transport Zone programme proposes to address local challenges such as high levels of car usage and the environmental impacts of freight movement within Solent’s urban areas.
It will do this by delivering a series of complementary projects within two key themes: Personal Mobility and Sustainable Urban Logistics.