Privately-owned e-scooters can’t be used on public roads and land, but there is now an official e-scooter scheme running in Chelmsford.

e-scooters parked in Chelmsford city centre by Riverside Leisure Centre
Spin e-scooters parked near Riverside Leisure Centre

The city is taking part in a pilot scheme for a managed e-scooter hire, in partnership with Essex County Council through Ford-owned Spin. The trial is looking at whether Spin e-scooters might be successful as a greener and healthier mode of transport for our trips around Chelmsford.

So, if you’d like to leave the car at home and give it a try when non-essential travel is allowed once more, here’s how.

How to book

To book and ride a Spin e-scooter you must be over 18 and have a valid provisional or full driving licence. Download the Spin app at www.spin.app to join up and you’ll be asked to take a selfie and upload it to the app before hiring your e-scooter.

You’ll be given compulsory online training before you can get going, including modules on responsible driving and disability awareness. Once you’ve completed your training and passed the safety test, you’ll be able to add your payment details and book your first ride through the app (insurance is included).

How to find them

The Spin e-scooters have distinctive orange branding to make them easily recognisable from privately-owned scooters which are usually black in colour and aren’t allowed on the road.

Details of where to find them are available on the Spin app and don’t forget to bring a helmet with you for your journey.

You can park your scooter on the edge of the pavement, near bike racks or in designated drop zones. E-scooters can’t be taken home – you’ll need to leave it in the riding zone area when you’re done.

Where you can go

Spin e-scooters are legally allowed to go anywhere that bicycles are, like cycle lanes and parks. Remember – bikes aren’t allowed on pavements and neither are e-scooters.

You’ll only be able to use roads which have a 30-mph speed limit or less and there are some roads that are forbidden in this scheme to keep everyone safe.

The green zone and no-go zones in central Chelmsford. Copyright: Spin/Essex Highways

The Spin app has a map showing a green zone of the boundaries of the Chelmsford zone. If you try to go outside this area, geofencing technology in the e-scooter will stop it from working.

There are also no-go zones marked in red on the map where you’re not allowed to ride for safety reasons. The majority of these are in the area around the city centre, so it’s best to familiarise yourself with these before you set out.

Starting out

Spin has lots of advice for first-time riders, and it says the best thing to do is to start slowly – find a quiet street to get used to your scooter before you head to a busier road. Like any road user, you must follow the rules of the road, stopping at lights and stop signs, travelling in the direction of traffic.

Use the bike lanes where possible, remember to yield to pedestrians and Spin advise to ride with your weight back with one foot in the centre of the board and one behind. If there’s a rear foot brake, keep a heel over it at all times.

How much does it cost?

It costs 20p a minute to ride a spin e-scooter with passes from £5 for 1 hour to £60 for a month’s travel which bring the price down for regular users.

NHS workers are eligible for free 30-minute rides and there are also subsidised rates for unemployed and low-income riders.

Find out more

Until the Government’s stay at home order ends at the end of March, e-scooters are only for hire for essential journeys.

Find out how you can hire a Spin e-scooter in Chelmsford at https://www.spin.app/how-to-ride-in-chelmsford and check out the FAQs.

Remember, all privately owned e-scooters remain illegal to use on public roads and land, and the police will take action.

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