Popular Voi scheme extended until 2024 as new report shows e-scooters help stimulate the region’s economyParking, roads and transport
15 December 2022
- Voi, West and North Northamptonshire Councils are pleased to extend the multimodal e-bike and e-scooter scheme until May 2024
- Extension reflects confidence in the safety, sustainability, and accessibility of Voi’s scheme
- Scheme extended across Voi’s operations in West and North Northamptonshire
- Economic benefit shows local businesses benefiting by a total of £15 million over 4 years to 2024
- Figure includes an extra £7.5 million being spent on the high street in the region
- 1 in 10 UK e-scooter rides occurred in Northamptonshire as the region’s ridership reaches 3.2 million
Leading shared micromobility company Voi, together with North and West Northamptonshire Councils, today announces the extension of its e-scooter and e-bike service in the region until May 2024. Today’s announcement reflects the confidence in Voi’s operations by both Northamptonshire councils to deliver a safe and sustainable scheme that is at the forefront of changing how people get around. The extension sees Voi’s micromobility operations continue in Northampton, Corby, Wellingborough, Rushden and Higham Ferrers as well as Kettering which includes both e-bikes and e-scooters.
One of the most important reasons for introducing micromobility in Northamptonshire is to reduce carbon emissions and help make public transport accessible to a greater number of people to tackle the climate crisis and encourage more people out of their cars. Nearly 3.2 million rides have taken place since the scheme was introduced in September 2020, making Voi an established part of the transport network, and for 1 in 4 riders getting from A to B daily means they are also combing their journeys with catching a train or bus to reach their destination. According to research by Zag Daily, nearly 1 in 10 of the UK's 30 million e-scooter rides have taken place in Northamptonshire - making it one of the most popular schemes in the country. The ease at which people have adopted e-scooters and e-bikes across Northamptonshire has helped remove an estimated 1.5 million car journeys from the road since launch.
The positive economic impact of Voi
The collaboration between Voi and North and West Northamptonshire Councils has enabled green transport to prosper for the benefit of the local economy. The e-scooter industry’s first-of-a-kind independent socio-economic report, carried out by economic experts Volterra Partners and commissioned by Voi, shows delivering a safe service that is flexible and convenient could benefit the region to the tune of nearly £15m between 2020 and 2024.
North Northamptonshire is likely to benefit by £5m from the scheme by 2024, whilst the towns that Voi operates its service in across West Northamptonshire are likely to see an economic uplift of around £10m over the same period from 2020.
This year alone, both regions are likely to see around £5m put back into the economy; however, this is based on ridership data for the first half of the year and thus the benefits are likely to be greater.
Given the flexibility of Voi’s service, riders are naturally gravitating towards the nearest convenient place for shopping and other activities using an e-scooter. As Volterra’s independent analysis shows, Voi’s scheme is helping drive more people to spend their money in local shops and businesses with an extra £7.5 million predicted to be spent on the high street by users of the scheme over 4 years to 2024.
Voi’s mission is to enable cities made for living by providing the means for people to travel around their city in an accessible, affordable way using micromobility. The report found e-scooters are helping provide more equitable public transport which is convenient to use. This is especially important for those from low-income areas, as nearly one-quarter (24%) of all Voi trips started and ended in lower-income areas in the UK.
Today’s announcement extending our scheme is exciting news for our riders and the people of Northamptonshire. “Over the last two years, Voi has collaborated closely with stakeholders, including the Northamptonshire Police and West and North Northamptonshire Councils, to increase public confidence in using e-scooters and e-bikes to such an extent that the scheme has quickly become an important part of the region’s fabric and one of the most popular in the UK.Grace Packard, Senior Policy Manager at Voi UK and Ireland
However, we won’t rest on our laurels. Delivering a safe service, which is convenient, green and a great alternative to the car remains our number one priority. Over the next 18 months, we will work hard to build upon our success to help deliver the region’s sustainability ambitions and create a better place for living.
It is good news for West Northamptonshire that this popular scheme has been extended until May 2024. It offers a more sustainable and cost-effective way to travel, helping to support our objective to reduce emissions.Cllr Phil Larratt, Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport, Highways and Waste at West Northamptonshire Council
I would encourage people to give Voi’s authorised scooter scheme a go, rather than opting for private, unregulated scooters which are illegal to use on public highways. We feel that the trial has been a continued success for the environment over the past two years and continues to evolve and increase in popularity as residents look at more convenient and eco-friendly ways to get around.
However, we recognise the concerns of residents regarding scooters being ridden inappropriately and on footpaths, as well as being parked on footways, obstructing pedestrians. We will continue to work with Voi over the extended period of the trial to overcome these concerns
Over the next 18 months, I hope that there will be increased confidence in using Voi and more residents are able to start using rental e-scooters and e-bikes as their preferred method of transport, which will only have a further benefit to the environment and air quality. With increasing energy and other costs, using a Voi can also help commuters save money.Cllr Graham Lawman, North Northamptonshire Council’s Executive Member for Highways, Travel and Assets
As part of agreeing to the extension until May 2024, we have worked with Voi towards additional safety measures, so I would like to take this opportunity to remind users to remain safe whilst out and about, especially over the winter months and with the shorter days. Included in this is easier reporting of e-scooter misuse, so I would urge people to do this through Voi's webpage.
Voi e-scooters and e-bikes are now a common sight in certain towns across North Northamptonshire, so I know drivers are becoming used to them, but please do remain vigilant and aware of the scheme so we can all stay safe.
As part of Voi’s commitment to creating an inclusive service for all, Voi rides can take advantage of its ‘Voi 4’ discounts - available to students, NHS staff, emergency service workers, Armed Forces, veterans and those on low incomes to help fight the financial pinch of the current cost of living crisis.
While Voi continues its mission to create better cities for living, safety remains the top priority for the company as it continues to invest in technology, innovation and infrastructure. Parking racks and safety features such as geofencing, which creates ‘Slow’ and ‘No Ride’ zones to limit how fast and where e-scooters can go, and the in-app ‘Parking Photo’ feature, making riders prove they have parked safely at the end of each journey, ensures Voi’s scheme remains safe for all.
Hopping on a Voi requires all account holders to be a minimum of 18 years old, with at least a provisional driver's license. Anyone caught riding underage - which is a breach of the company’s terms and conditions - will see the immediate closure of the account and a ban from future usage as well as the account holder facing criminal charges from the police.
Voi’s in-person events and its #RideLikeVoila online safety school help educate riders on the rules of the road. However, if a scooter is misplaced or there are instances of misuse, riders can be reported via ‘Report a Voi’ and could be subject to Voi’s three-strikes policy, which includes the potential of being permanently banned from the service.