- Basildon is the first of six Essex-based locations Spin will be rolling out in over the coming months
- Free 30-minute rides for eligible NHS workers through Spin Everyday Heroes programme
- Subsidised rates for unemployed and low-income riders who have a Jobcentre Plus Travel Discount Card through Spin Access programme
- Socially-distanced urban transport mode to start operations this week
Today Spin, the micromobility unit of Ford Motor Company, announces the launch of its first public hire e-scooter trial in Basildon, the first of its kind in Essex.
Spin is launching the service with 50 e-scooters available for hire in the town from this week. This is the first step in a managed phased launch which Spin is looking to gradually expand hand in hand with demand and working closely with Basildon Council.
Two of Spin’s programmes supporting key workers and low-income riders will also be available in Basildon*. All National Health Service (NHS) workers that work in a healthcare facility in Spin’s active trial locations will be eligible for 30-minute free rides, a scheme known as Everyday Heroes,.
Another scheme, Spin Access will provide subsidised fares - 50% off - for those who qualify. To begin with, the scheme will offer subsidised rates to unemployed and low-income riders registered with Jobcentre Plus and who have access to a Jobcentre Plus Discount Travel Card.
Spin is working closely with Basildon and Essex County Council to trial this new transport mode that provides choice and accessibility for local residents and that’s complimentary to public transport and an alternative to short-distance car journeys. Spin will continue to work with local authorities in Essex as it looks to roll out in other locations over the coming months.
Commenting on the launch, Steve Pyer, UK Country Manager at Spin said, “We are excited to launch the first of our Essex e-scooter trials in Basildon. Our aim is to develop an affordable and reliable service that gives the local community of more than 100,000 residents a more sustainable, fun and socially-distanced way to travel around the town. To achieve this, we are taking a community-centred, consultative approach with local authorities, with public safety as a top priority. Unlike private e-scooters that are still illegal in the UK, we have much more control of the e-scooters speed and the areas where people can ride. As this is part of the national trials we’ll be closely monitoring it and sharing findings and feedback with the Department for Transport and local authorities and fine-tune operations as and when needed.”
Chairman of the Neighbourhoods and Public Spaces Committee Councillor David Harrison said: “This is an exciting initiative that offers an environmentally friendly travel option at a time when we are working hard to improve air quality in the borough.”
Chairman of the Strategic Planning and Infrastructure Committee Councillor Jack Ferguson said: “We are committed to helping to facilitate travel and efficiency of movement across the borough and this scheme will be of particular benefit to commuters.”
The trial will have strict operational rules to ensure safety of all road users, be it pedestrians, including those with sight and hearing loss, cyclists or drivers. Spin e-scooters are speed-restricted to a maximum of 15.5 mph. Spin will use geofencing technology to create dedicated ‘go slow’ and ‘no ride’ areas and to prevent its e-scooters from being operated outside of permitted areas. Outside of the ‘no ride’ areas, e-scooters can be ridden anywhere that bicycles are allowed to go, including most low-speed (up to 30mph) roads. Use of e-scooters is not permitted on pavements. For up to date information on where people can ride as well as not permitted areas users should visit the Spin App.
From Monday 7th December, the Spin team will be on the ground at St. Martins Square in Basildon to give a hand to those wanting to try the e-scooters. On Friday 11th and Saturday 12th December, Spin will be offering free e-scooter training provided by professional scooting company ScootFit. Those interested are advised to pre-book slots on this website. A small-number of walk-in slots will be available on both days. The Spin team will be following all government guidelines including social distancing and helmets will be provided which customers can keep.
Spin will be using Ford’s Dagenham facility for servicing e-scooters and as a depot. Spin will be opening new warehousing in Essex to support the trials as the schemes grow.
Graham Hoare, Ford of Britain chairman, said: “As a transportation leader, offering all modes of sustainable future mobility is a priority. The majority of our employees, countless suppliers and other partners are Essex residents, who will also benefit from this exciting trial and the innovative technology changing private transport landscape Spin scooters will help to share.”