This month, e-scooter operators from across the world are bidding to bring a new form of shared mobility services to Bristol.
Since Bristol was named the UK’s first
Cycling City in 2008, more than £90 million has been spent on upgrading cycle
routes and promoting cycling and walking. The current plan from the West of
England Combined Authority proposes a further £411 million to be spent on this
Despite this investment, over two-thirds of commutes in the West of England are still made by car, contributing to congestion, climate change and air pollution – even though almost half of these journeys are under 2 kilometres. And fewer than 10% of commutes are made by public transport.
One company hoping to change this is
LINK, a technology and mobility company that started life as a spin-out from
MIT’s Senseable City Lab, dedicated to solving urban challenges. The business
has spent the last two years designing the world’s safest and most
technologically advanced e-scooter from the wheels up, and is now ready to
launch this in Bristol.
Haya Verwoord Douidri, Vice President
EMEA and General Manager UK at LINK, describes the challenge. “To really
displace car journeys, you need to offer alternatives that are safe and easy to
use, but with the same level of convenience as Cars” she explains.
LINK solves these problems through a
larger and more sturdy frame, with a wider riding platform, able to handle
people of all shapes and sizes. It is built for the rigours of shared use,
gliding over cobblestones with ease. It can instantly respond to keep riders
out of unsafe no-ride zones and automatically enforces speed limits in
The unique Vehicle Intelligence System autonomously checks over 140 mechanical and electronic components before, during, and after every ride. And a New Rider Mode and a Safe Stop feature are embedded into the software to keep users safe.
“We are excited about the opportunity to
offer the safest and most advanced e-scooters to Bristol. If you feel safe and
comfortable when riding you are more likely to leave the car at home and choose
a more sustainable transport mode. Or use public transport by taking a scooter
to make the first or last mile of the journey,” Verwoord Douidri adds.
The West of England is one of the UK’s
Future Transport Zones, set up to trial new transport technologies. The trial
of e-scooters has been fast tracked by the Department for Transport to help get
people moving again following the coronavirus outbreak, on top taking action on
climate change, congestion and air quality. The trial is expected to launch in
the next few weeks.