Launching on November 18th, Zwings e-scooters are now available to rent from 5 parking bays on the Keele University campus as part of trials led by Staffordshire County Council and the Department for Transport.
Zwings is working with Keele University to bring rental e-scooters to campus to help students and staff make their journeys to and from the campus from Newcastle Under Lyme and the COVID testing facility, within the geo fenced area on campus.
The rental scheme comes as part of the SIMULATE programme, which involves leading consultancies Amey, the Connected Places Catapult and Keele University to bridge the gap between innovative, technology focused SMEs and real-world challenges in local government infrastructure. Collectively, we are working together to accelerate innovative solutions in sustainable transport and clean air across the region.
Here’s what Greg Dargue, Deputy Director of Estates at Keele University had to say about the launch:
“As part of Keele University’s commitment to significantly reducing its carbon emissions, and developing a truly integrated travel and transport system, it is working with Staffordshire County Council on a variety of sustainable transport solutions. E-scooters could play a role as a vital part of everyday journeys – particularly the first and last miles between home, transport hubs like bus and train stations, and in the University situation as transport across the campus. The trial will give us valuable information as to how they can be used, and people’s views of them as a mode of transport.”
The wider e-scooter trial currently covers an area including Newcastle-under-Lyme town centre, Keele University and Silverdale, but will soon expand to include wider residential regions in the north and south of the borough. The County Council is allowing e-scooters to have access to all cycle lanes within Newcastle-under-Lyme for the 12-month trial.
Joe Lewin, CEO at Zwings, said:
“It is great to see how many Keele University students are so excited by the introduction of the e-scooter rental scheme to the campus. We recognise that we now play an important role in supporting students and key workers to travel at a social distance in a sustainable manner. We are working in close accordance with local representatives in Newcastle-under-Lyme, including the NHS and Keele University, to make additional scooters and parking bays available to best serve the needs of the local community.”
Riders must be 16 or over and hold a provisional, full or motorcycle driving licence. The scooters must be kept on roads, cycle tracks or cycle lanes within the trial area and users are encouraged to wear helmets. Once a journey has been completed the scooters can be left in one of the designated parking areas detailed on the Zwings app.
Holly Brooks, Athletics Union and Sport Officer, trialled the e-scooters on campus and said:
“I think the e-scooters will be a great addition to Keele student life. They’re easy to use and definitely pack a punch, which is certainly needed for travelling up Keele bank. The e-scooters are very affordable too, they’re cheaper than a taxi and better for the environment. I can’t wait to use them again.”
E-scooters can be rented via the Zwings app and are limited to 12mph. Users are asked to clean the handlebars before and after riding. However, as part of their Covid-19 response, Zwings clean their e-scooters using an approved sanitisation spray and are applying Shieldex self-cleansing copper handle grips which can render up to 99.98% of viruses and bacteria harmless.
Second year student Qasim Enver believes they will be a new eco-friendly mode of transport:
“The e-scooters are a fantastic and innovative mode of transport which are eco-friendly, they are also fun to ride and after having spent some time on them, I would want to go on them again. I feel with Covid-19, a lot of people may not want to take public transport and this alternative to walking is brilliant to get from Keele to Newcastle-under-Lyme. Overall, I feel this is a great thing for the students at Keele.”
The trial, which is the first of its kind, is expected to generate dramatically positive results for campus travel and become a sustainable, popular choice for those working and studying at universities. Much like the transition to e-scooters for short, urban trips, we can expect e-scooters to soon become the preferred way of travelling to places of work and across campuses.