A FLEET of new, state-of-the-art electric scooters is set to become available in High Wycombe and Aylesbury as part of a 12-month rental trial starting next month.

Irish company Zipp Mobility has set up operations in High Wycombe, creating seven new jobs, to help launch the project.

The two trials, expected to be operational from next month, will follow popular routes through both towns and special ‘geofencing’ technology will prevent them operating outside of set areas.

Special ‘parking zones’ will also be marked out at popular points to make pick up and drop off easier.

The news comes after the Department for Transport approved Buckinghamshire Council’s bid for the new e-scooters, which they say will provide local people with an alternative, convenient and more environmentally friendly way of getting around during the pandemic - particularly for those shorter journeys which might otherwise have been made by car.

Zipp Mobility will be undertaking in-person, education and training sessions before the trials get fully underway.

These will be socially distanced and follow all Covid-compliant rules and will give people interested in using a scooter the opportunity to try one out before renting.

To ride an e-scooter, a person will have to be over 16 and at the very least hold a provisional driving license.

A verifiable ID check will also be undertaken before a rider can hire a scooter.

Scooters will be booked and paid for via the Zipp Mobility app.

The Zipp scooters will be using geofencing technology to prevent riders from going into wholly pedestrian areas or onto major roads.

If they try, the scooter motors will slow down to a standstill – until they return to a permitted riding route.

The maximum speed limit is 15.5 mph and it is possible to use the technology to automatically reduce speeds and create slow zones in specified areas.

Marked parking bays where riders will start and finish their journeys will also be set up to prevent people from just dumping the scooters in the street when they are done with them.

Bucks Council cabinet member for transport, Nick Naylor said: “Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic we’ve all experienced huge changes in our daily lives, not least in the way we travel.

“In addition to looking at ways to encourage more cycling and walking, the e-scooter trials bring a new dimension to short distance travel in our two main town centres.

“With coronavirus restrictions set to be with us for months to come, it’s vital to keep investing in our town centres and new forms of micro-transport have the potential to make a considerable contribution. That’s why we’re really looking forward to working with Zipp Mobility on this innovative trial.”

To book an education and training session and test drive a scooter, please visit zippmobility.simplybook.it. Details will be available shortly.