Following a five-month trial period in Slough, Neuron Mobility and Slough Borough Council are expanding the riding area of the current e-scooter safety-first. Neuron’s e-scooters will now be available in Langley, Britwell and Wexham.
Since the trial launched in October the e-scooters are said to have become popular with Slough residents as an alternative way of getting to work and around the town, with 10,000 riders signing-up to the service and travelling a total combined distance of over 100,000 km.
A spokesperson for the company said the e-scooters have become an important aspect of Slough’s transport network. A recent survey found that 60% of trips were combined with public transport, showing that the e-scooters are well-integrated into the wider transport mix. Also, the survey found that around 40% of trips have directly replaced a car journey, which “demonstrates how Neuron’s e-scooters are supporting Slough Council’s air quality goals and helping to reduce traffic congestion“.
Now, alongside expanding the riding area, Neuron will be increasing their e-scooter fleet size from 250 to 450 e-scooters. The expansion will provide alternative connectivity between Langley, Wexham and Britwell to Slough town centre.
Neuron has issued free passes to all NHS and emergency service workers, as well as council social care workers throughout lockdown. So far hundreds of key workers have signed up for free passes and taken advantage of the e-scooters as a socially-distanced way of carrying out essential journeys.
Neuron has also implemented "rigorous covid-prevention measures" to protect staff and users, this includes a dedicated safety team which will be deployed in the new areas. The team will be moving e-scooters to where they are needed most, assisting new riders with signing up on the app, and will deliver practical tips for safe riding. The safety team are also armed with hospital-grade disinfectant to keep e-scooters and helmets completely clean and germ-free, a spokesperson has said.
As is already the case in Slough, the e-scooters are GPS-enabled and Neuron and Slough Borough Council will use geofencing technology to control where they are ridden and parked, and how fast they can travel in certain areas by creating slow-zones, no-ride zones and no-parking zones. The expanded riding area will include over 30 additional parking stations which will be highlighted in the app and also marked on the ground for visibility, users will have to scan a QR-code to end their trip. Each e-scooter is fitted with a unique licence plate number for easy identification and to promote responsible use.
Zachary Wang, CEO of Neuron Mobility, said: “After a successful five-month trial period, we are delighted to be expanding our riding area in and around Slough, to provide more residents with a safe and socially-distanced transport option. We have been proud to support Slough with their Covid-response effort, and by expanding our fleet and riding area, we hope to continue our support to the community.”
He continued: “Safety is our top priority, it dictates our e-scooter design and also the way we operate them. Our e-scooters are packed with cutting-edge safety features and our safety course and riding guidelines have been co-developed with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), the UK’s leading accident prevention charity.”
Councillor Rob Anderson, Cabinet Member for Sustainable Transport and the Environment at Slough Borough Council, said: “We are delighted so many people have taken the opportunity to use this zero emission form of transport. So much so it is viable for the scheme to expand into more communities giving more residents another way to get around. As the country takes steps to come out of lockdown there is a chance to do things differently than before – maybe using an e-scooter instead of the car could be one of them.”
Neuron’s next-generation N3 e-scooters have been purpose-built to a commercial grade, specifically for renting. They have visibly larger, 11.5” wheels and wider footplates than other e-scooters.
The e-scooters feature the world’s first app-controlled Helmet Lock which secures a safety helmet to the e-scooter, electronically releasing it to use at the start of the booking.
As well as the Helmet Lock, riders get voice guidance to educate and warn them of how to travel safely; a “Follow My Ride” feature which allows riders to share their trip with friends and family in real time for added safety and peace of mind; and a 999 emergency button which can tell if someone has had a fall, then help them call the emergency services.
The company uses a topple detection feature that alerts Neuron’s operations team if an e-scooter has been left on its side so it can quickly be repositioned safely. There are also a range of ‘smart parking’ initiatives to control and promote safe parking, many of which are a first for the UK.
Riders, who are over 18 and hold a full or provisional driving licence, are able to book and use the e-scooters through Neuron’s app. Single trips will cost £1 to unlock the e-scooter and 18 pence per minute after that.
More frequent users have the option to purchase Neuron Passes, a subscription service, available in three-day (£15), weekly (£22), or monthly (£36) options. The packages will allow users to ride as many times as they want for up to 90 minutes per day for a fixed affordable price. This will result in no additional unlocking fees and savings of up to 90%.
Important Riding Rules:
Riders must be 18 years old and above
Must have provisional or full driving license
No riding on pavements
Helmets should be worn
Be aware and remove earphones
One rider per e-scooter
Keep a safe distance from pedestrians
Do not ride under the influence of alcohol or other substances
Keep both hands on the handlebars
Maintain a safe distance from other vehicles particularly when turning
Park responsibly and don't cause an obstruction.
Failure to adhere to these rules may result in criminal prosecution and points issued to the offender's driving licence.