I have noticed the queues are getting longer for the Bath University bus. I witnessed one turning up full – opposite the Bus Station – and unable to take many of those waiting on board.
Well, here’s some good news. Students and residents can now take advantage of an easier commute up Widcombe Hill, after the West of England’s e-scooter trial was extended to cover the University of Bath’s Claverton Down campus.
The third phase of the e-scooter trial in Bath, which was introduced in 2020, now extends to over eight square miles to enable more people to easily commute or take short journeys around the city, including up Widcombe Hill to reach the University of Bath.
The West of England is one of only four Future Transport Zones in the country, set up to trial new transport technologies, such as e-scooters, to help reduce congestion, improve air quality and lower carbon emissions.
The e-scooters, which have replaced approximately 90,000 car journeys since being introduced, can be hired by anyone aged 18 and over with a provisional or full UK driving licence, between 6am and 10pm. They are limited to 12.5mph, even when coming down Widcombe Hill, for additional safety and all users are strongly encouraged to wear appropriate safety gear, including a helmet, and follow Voi’s safety guidelines.
Councillor Sarah Warren, deputy leader and cabinet member for climate and sustainable travel, said: “I am delighted our successful e-scooter trial is being extended to incorporate the University of Bath. With over 3,500 employees and nearly 20,000 students, the university is one of our area’s largest organisations.
“The e-scooters will give people more choice on how they travel, especially for short journeys in and around Bath. They’re a great alternative to using private cars, yet still enable you to quickly and easily move from A to B. They’re one of a number of sustainable travel measures we’re supporting to help tackle congestion, reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality, in line with the council’s journey to net zero priorities.”
Ian Blenkharn, director of education and student services at the University of Bath, said: “It’s great news that students, staff and visitors now have another option for cheap and sustainable transport to campus from the centre of Bath, in addition to the vital bus routes on offer. Safety is of course our priority and we strongly encourage all riders to use the e-scooters responsibly and wear appropriate equipment, including helmets, at all times.”
Grace Packard, senior policy manager for Voi UK and Ireland, said: “We’re delighted to have expanded our operating area to the University of Bath as we are determined to get more people riding to support this historic city in achieving its net zero ambitions.
“Key to the success of micro-mobility and creating greener, cleaner cities is by giving more people the opportunity to leave their cars behind through expanding operating areas and offering a rental service and mode of transport, which is not only convenient and flexible to their everyday needs but is safe and sustainable.”
In celebration of the expansion to the University of Bath, Voi is offering user discounts. New users can receive one free 30-minute ride using the discount code ‘BACKTOIT22’ (valid until 31 October 2022), while existing users can receive a £5 voucher by completing the Ride Like Voila traffic school or taking a helmet selfie after their next ride.
Photos © University of Bath.