THE e-scooter rental in Chard and Crewkerne has proved very popular since it launched last month.

South Somerset District Council (SSDC), in collaboration with Zwings', launched the e-scooter trail in Chard and Crewkerne on March 25.

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The scheme has proved very popular, with residents in Chard and Crewkerne using the scooters for more than 25,000 minutes, or more than 18 full days.

The distance travelled so far is equal to scooting from Chard to the pyramids of Egypt.

Zwings are fully funding the trial, which is also taking place in Yeovil.

“We recognise that the first few weeks after the launch are crucial to gain an understanding of the community's response, and we are continually seeking to improve the trial experience in order to best suit localised needs," said Joe Lewin, CEO of Zwings.

"Our local and head office team is working hard together with stakeholders to deliver rider education and to mitigate misuse. We are really excited that people are choosing to get on a Zwings e-scooter to get around.

"So far we know that the average ride time is more than 25 minutes in Chard and 21 minutes in Crewkerne."

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The Department for Transport established e-scooter trials as part of their COVID-response, as well as to inform future policy and gauge how this new mode of travel can be safely integrated into the UK’s transport ecosystem.

SSDC's environment team, added: “We recognise that e-scooters are potentially an effective way of helping the county reach clean air targets and net zero by 2030.

"Following on from the clear success of the e-scooter trial in Yeovil, the Zwings team is working hard together with local police to manage the e-scooter trial in the area and are being proactive in mitigating and preventing misuse by legible and illegible riders.

"We are in the early stages of this national DfT trial, and electric e-scooters are a very new vehicle opportunity in Britain, and one we hope will help deliver decarbonised transport across the district for years to come.”

There have been some reports of underage riders misusing the vehicles and Zwings are collaborating with the police to identify and suspend the accounts of those using the service irresponsibly.

Anyone who unlocks the vehicle and enables someone else to drive it will be penalised and could be issued points on their license as it is a driving offence.

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“The beat team in Chard are working very closely with Zwings and already some accounts have been withdrawn due to inappropriate use," said PSCO Andrews from Chard Police.

"The Zwings e-scooters are a good way of getting around the areas of Chard but must be used in accordance with the highways rules and regulations.

"Any inappropriate use witnessed will be fed back to Zwings via their dedicated community email. It should also be highlighted that private e-scooters are still illegal even during these DfT trials and they could be confiscated.

"Any inappropriate use of Zwings e-scooters witnessed needs to be fed back to Zwings.”

Members of the public in both Chard and Crewkerne are strongly encouraged to report incidents of misuse they see to Zwings and ensure they detail the following when reporting the incident:

• What they saw

• Precisely what time it happened

• and if noted, the vehicle’s unique three digit number plate.

Report this information via email, community@zwings.co.uk.