Late night e-scooting in Southampton 

Operating hours for Voi e-scooter scheme extended to 11pm in response to public demand. 

E-scooter and e-bike hire schemes are proving successful across the UK. They’re an inexpensive, fun way of getting around, and there are significant health benefits from more active modes of travel, as well as improved air quality and environmental impacts from reduced reliance on cars.

Woman in sunglasses on a Voi e-scooter, photo courtesy of Voi

Photo courtesy of Voi

Funded by the Solent Future Transport Zone programme, Voi rental e-scooters were introduced in Portsmouth and Southampton in March 2021. The following year, a scheme for hiring Beryl bikes and e-bikes launched across Portsmouth, Southampton and the Isle of Wight. The Beryl scheme was expanded earlier this year. Now, the operating hours of the e-scooter scheme in Southampton are being extended, in response to data showing high usage at night. 

One key reason for this is safety. Voi’s own focus group, user end ride feedback and global user survey reveals that one in five say they feel safer on an e-scooter rather than walking or taking public transport. The company is also keen that late hours do not limit such affordable, sustainable modes of urban transport. 

Of course, one concern is how increased use of e-scooters might affect the safety for other road and pavement users. In fact, data from Voi’s trials in Cambridge and Oxford demonstrate that there is no discernible impact on accident rates from e-scooters being ridden at night. Indeed, Voi e-scooters have built-in front and rear lights that work automatically, and are also equipped with a bell. The company also advises riders to wear reflective clothing when riding in the dark, as well as always wearing a helmet. It has pioneered a reaction test which blocks users from starting to ride an e-scooter if they show signs of intoxication. 

Jack Samler, General Manager UK, Ireland and France at Voi, says: ‘I’m really pleased that e-scooters are now available for longer in Southampton. It is great to be able to give people a more affordable, convenient option that will help to reduce car dependency and, therefore, pollution and emissions in our cities further.’ 

Cllr Eamonn Keogh, Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport at Southampton City Council, adds: ‘Following on from feedback, we are pleased to extend our operating hours until 11pm. This extra hour gives an additional, more flexible option for all, especially to shift workers and those without access to a car later on at night.’

In related news:

App-based cycle parking hubs in Glasgow city centre

E-cargo bike trial for businesses in Bristol 

Grants of up to £25,000 help Nottingham go greener 


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