Kettering residents can now hire Voi e-bikes to circulate safely while adhering to the social distancing recommendations.
E-scooters and e-bikes offer a green and accessible way for key workers to travel to and from work. They can also support those needing to travel to COVID testing or vaccination centres, whilst complying with the current COVID restrictions in place across the region.
Kettering is one of the first towns in the UK to offer Voi’s multimodal offer to its residents, giving them two new flexible and carbon-neutral transport options. E-scooters are the best choice for short commutes, 1-3miles, while e-bikes are more appropriate for slightly longer commute times - 3-9 miles.
Initially, there will be 20 e-bikes available to rent in Kettering, from 04am to 11pm. Voi e-bikes can be pedalled and are assisted by an electric motor up to 15.5 mph. When fully charged, Voi’s e-bike can ride up to 31 miles. Voi will ensure the bikes always remain powered up, and batteries will be swapped out by the Voi teams overnight.
Similarly to e-scooters, to ride an e-bike, users need to be 18 years old and over, are required to download the Voi app, available for free on Apple App Store or Google Play, and will have to present at least a provisional license.
How can I access it?
It costs £1 to unlock the e-bike and then £0.15 per minute of usage. Voi also offers 24-hour (at £10) and 30-day (at £40) subscriptions that allow users to take an unlimited number of rides at a fixed rate. In addition, there are discounts for students, those on a low income - Voi 4 All. As part of its Voi 4 Heroes initiative, the e-scooter operator is offering NHS and Emergency Service Workers free access to Voi during the lockdown, so it is easier for them to commute or shop in a socially-distanced manner. To be eligible, users have to upload their NHS identity, Blue Light Card or Defence Discount Service to the Voi app or website.
Riders will find e-bikes parked next to e-scooters and they will be bound by the same geographical area as e-scooters. Voi e-bikes use geofencing to ensure no ride, slow ride and no parking zones are observed, and they will be fitted with number plates to make it easy to identify and report.
Safety is Voi’s number one priority. Like e-scooters, Voi’s e-bikes will also be cleaned and disinfected every 24 hours to ensure that they cannot become a source of infection. In addition, Voi e-bikes are fitted with copper tape that inactivates and minimises the transmission of coronavirus. Voi also provides COVID-19 advice and information via the app and encourages its users to use hand sanitiser and wear gloves.
The same traffic rules that apply to bicycles and e-scooters also apply to e-bikes. For the launch of our new e-bikes, Voi worked with VIAS research institute and developed 8 points for safe riding. These points are based on the UK traffic rules, signs, signals and general safety precautions:
- Use dedicated cycling infrastructure
- Watch out for pedestrians
- Signal to other road users
- Ride on the left side of the road or cycle lane
- Obey all traffic signs and traffic light signals
- Do not drink and ride
- Pay attention and adapt your riding to your surroundings
- Keep your distance and stay alert
In addition, Voi advises e-bike riders to wear a helmet when riding a bike, so they stay safe.
For safety reasons, e-bikes should not be used in Kettering’s pedestrianised areas or where cycling is prohibited.
Voi will continue to work alongside local authorities to continue to educate riders through online and offline educational campaigns. Riders will also be encouraged to complete Voi’s digital e-scooter traffic school #RideLikeVoila, the world’s first certified digital traffic school.
As the trial progresses, Voi will continue to work closely with local authorities and police force to guarantee a successful trial phase.
Jason Smithers, Cabinet Member for Highways and Place for Northamptonshire County Council said:
The e-scooter trials in Northampton and Kettering are already proving to be a real boost in improving access to greener, more sustainable and affordable transport. For this reason, we’re confident the e-bike scheme will be just as popular, and we’re delighted to be able to introduce this phase as the next step in our journey to providing alternative travel.
“Voi has done a fantastic job so far in delivering these schemes both in Northampton and Kettering and we’re very pleased to have formed this exciting partnership over the last few months, delivering major transformation in our county.
“Of course, rider safety is our number one concern and, with this in mind, we ask that users adhere to the new lockdown rules from central government, using the e-scooters and e-bikes only for essential journeys at the present time.”
Rochelle Mathieson, Head of Commercial & Economic Development at Kettering Borough Council, said:
Following on from the success of the e-scooter scheme, it’s exciting to be able to provide another sustainable and affordable way to get around the area. Among the many benefits of introducing e-bikes, this initiative also provides a greener alternative for travel in and around the town, which is a fantastic resource during these unprecedented times. We hope more residents and visitors to the town will benefit from this new venture.”
Richard Corbett, Regional General Manager of UK, Ireland and Benelux for Voi, said:
Building on the success of the e-scooter trial, we are delighted to bring our green multimodal offer to Kettering. E-bikes are a perfect complement to our shared e-scooters hire scheme, offering key workers two safe ways to move whilst social distancing. The pandemic has accelerated the shift towards micro-mobility as a safe, accessible and convenient alternative to short car journeys.
E-scooters and e-bikes have the potential to bring real transformation to our cities and towns by reducing pollution, improving air quality and ultimately making a positive impact on people's wellbeing.”
Polly Grimmett Director of Strategy for Kettering General Hospital said:
This is a really exciting development. We are working hard to develop travel alternatives for our staff and visitors to the hospital site and the introduction of ebikes will make a real difference and broaden the options that are open to people.
“At KGH we are committed to enabling sustainable travel as part of our approach to becoming ‘net carbon zero’, and will be actively supporting this new initiative which, alongside the e-scooter service, will help to reduce congestion and pressure on car parking.”
Founded in August 2018, Voi is a Swedish micro-mobility company offering electric scooter sharing in partnership with cities and local communities. We believe e-scooters can play a central role in changing how people move in our cities in the future. And we want to make sure that the transformation happens the right way - through real innovative technology, open and transparent dialogue with cities and Governments and by adapting our products to local needs.
Jump on a scooter whenever and ride wherever in the city in just minutes - completely carbon-neutral. Voi has been a carbon-neutral company since January 2020 and has adopted the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a guiding framework, and has also set a clear agenda for reducing and offsetting emissions.