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Commuting During Coronavirus – Hygienic Travel for Keyworkers

Since coronavirus cases first began to appear in the UK, the government’s advice has been clear – in order to reduce the spread of the virus, normal human contact must be reduced. With most of the country in lockdown, strict social distancing rules are in place as the vast majority of us work or study from home.

The exceptions to these rules are our keyworkers – the NHS staff and volunteers caring for those suffering from COVID-19 along with a small army of teachers, supermarket workers, utility workers and public servants. While we stay at home to save lives, they still have to get to work. Along with being essential, their journeys now carry more risk than they did in healthier times.

Public Transport Anxiety

As the number of people commuting into towns and cities every day has reduced, so have the number of services being run. This means that the buses, underground and train carriages that were overloaded before the coronavirus crisis began remain just as packed. At the same time, social distancing encourages us to stay 2 metres from other people and avoid overcrowded public spaces to prevent us spreading or catching the virus.

The desire to avoid unnecessary (and unpleasant!) social contact on crowded public transport is leading many keyworkers to adjust their travel plans and use privately owned vehicles to complete their journeys.

Personal Protection Zone

While some key workers have turned to their cars to complete their commutes, parking, petrol and affordability put others off.

Instead, many are relying on their electric scooters to stay mobile during the pandemic, with some covering much longer distances than usual. Riding an escooter is an easy, safe, healthy and socially distanced personal transport option which gives the rider complete control to adjust routes if they encounter large groups of people. While shared electric scooters in other European cities are seeing low use due to a perceived contamination risk, privately owned escooters carry no such hygiene concerns.

Additional Health Benefits

During these uncertain times, scooter-riding keyworkers are choosing to be surrounded by fresh air on their escooters rather than breathing in re-circulated air while in close quarters with others on public transport. There are no shared surfaces to touch, and it’s easy to avoid anyone coughing – just steer away!

Additionally, scooting in the sunshine after a long day at work must have mental health benefits. Getting some gentle exercise in an outdoor space is actively encouraged by the government during this pandemic, and using the commute to and from work to do just that should be encouraged.

The Fly in the Ointment

It’s clear that many of the reasons that key workers are turning to their escooters as a safe and hygienic method of travel to work comply fully with the government’s suggestions and instructions during this unprecedented period. It’s a responsible, socially-distanced and healthy way to commute.

Unfortunately, it has still not been made fully legal despite the government launching a regulatory review to do just that, and the coronavirus crisis could even delay any decision further. Until the regulations are updated, our key workers risk a fine and points on their licence for choosing their electric scooter over a packed train to get to work. And when lockdown eventually ends, other commuters may also prefer to avoid the additional risk of using public transport until the virus has been eradicated, meaning we may see more escooters on our streets than ever before.

During these difficult times, the Coronavirus Act 2020 gives the police additional powers, including the ability to suspend fines and penalties awarded. Let’s hope that in the case of our key worker escooter commuters, they do just that.

Help Legalise Electric Scooters

As we mentioned in our recent blog, ‘Is it Legal to Ride an Electric Scooter in the UK’, the government has begun the process of updating legislation to make electric scooters legal to ride on UK streets.

While this is an excellent step in the right direction, the legal processes required to change the laws are lengthy, and in the current circumstances we believe that the legislation should be urgently prioritised to allow electric scooter owners to avoid using crowded public transport.

If you would like to help us raise this issue with the government, please sign this petition which requests that escooters are legalised as soon as possible.

A Few Reasons to Legalise Electric Scooters

  • Urban roads are increasingly congested – electric scooters encourage people out of their cars.
  • Air pollution levels are unacceptably high in many towns and cities – escooters are an emission-free alternative.
  • Supporting first and last mile public transport travel, portable electric scooters are a commuter essential.
  • A healthy way to travel, escooters encourage a more active lifestyle, getting riders out into the fresh air.
  • A recent report concluded that trips by electric scooter in urban areas were safer than trips by car or motorbike.

Additional Reasons in the Current Crisis

  • Reduced public transport services are cramped and crowded, and social distancing rules often can’t be adhered to.
  • Touching shared surfaces on buses and trains increases the risk of virus transmission.
  • Re-circulated air is an additional risk to public transport passengers, while escooters encourage fresh air.
  • Anxiety over public transport hygiene is driving commuters into their cars, and will continue to do so even when transport systems are fully re-opened.

At eScooter, we believe that micromobility vehicles, including electric scooters, are a vital part of the UK government’s plan for transport revolution, as detailed in the ‘Future of Transport Regulatory Review’. Given the crisis that the entire country faces now and through the coming months, we strongly believe that this legislation needs to be fast-tracked through parliament, now.

Please click here to sign the petition.

9 Reasons why Electric Scooters are the Future

Electric scooters are rapidly increasing in popularity, and are clearly hugely on trend right now. But investing in an escooter isn’t just a fashionable flash in the pan – purchasing an electric scooter is a great investment in the future. Electric scooters are no 5 minute wonder, they are here to stay, and here’s why:

1. Clean & eco-friendly

A great choice for the environmentally conscious, electric scooters produce zero emissions, making them a much cleaner choice for short journeys than hopping on a moped or in the car. No additional air pollution is definitely the way forward – the UK government says so.

2. Impressive speed & range

Reaching speeds of up to 15mph and covering distances of around 18 miles, electric scooters are a great way to explore. Perfect for zipping around busy city centres, they are an equally fun way to take in the countryside.

3. Easy to ride

The controls of an electric scooter are so easy to use, anyone of any age can master them. A truly accessible personal transportation vehicle, escooters can often assist people with limited mobility who don’t require a wheelchair or mobility scooter to get around and cover longer distances.

4. Healthy choice

A great way to get out into the fresh air and avoid crowded trains and buses, riding an electric scooter is better for you than you may think. Standing while you travel is great for posture (particularly if you’re at a desk all day) and your core muscles get a workout keeping you balanced.

5. Compact & portable

Folding down for easy storage in your car boot, hall cupboard, locker or under your desk, electric scooters are compact and lightweight enough to carry as needed. Big flight of stairs? No problem.

6. Effortless charging

When you finish your journey, just plug in your scooter battery and your trusty ride will be ready to go again in a couple of hours. No fancy equipment needed, just a regular socket.

7. Commuter friendly

For anyone using public transport – which is the government’s preferred future plan for travel – it’s highly unlikely that your bus or train takes you door to door. Electric scooters are a great ‘first and last mile’ solution to get you where you need to go – just fold it down and carry it with you.

8. Affordable option

Save the bus fare, get an escooter! You really don’t need to spend thousands to get a great electric scooter that will change the way you travel. And once you’ve got the scooter, charging only costs a few pence a day.

9. Almost road legal…hopefully!

The UK government are currently considering making electric scooters legal to ride in cycle lanes and on roads – they’ve set out possible plans in their Future of Transport Regulatory Review. Trials are about to begin in 4 new transport zones around the country, so watch this space!

Electric scooters are a fun, convenient and safe way to travel, which is why they are being seen in increasing numbers up and down the country. Buying an electric scooter now may be a fashionable move, but we promise you, escooters are not going out of style any time soon.

Why Electric Transport is the Next Big Thing

In 2018, the UK government set out its ambition to lead the way in the field of electric transportation with the ‘Road to Zero’ strategy. Promising a “massive roll-out of infrastructure to support the electric vehicle revolution”, the strategy expects at least half of all new cars to be ultra-low emission by 2030, and the UK “the best place in the world to build and own an electric vehicle.”

And it’s not just cars. Electric buses are now a regular sight on the streets of London, and personal electric vehicles including electric scooters are expected to be legalised following the Department for Transport’s Future of Transport Regulatory Review.

So why is electric transport receiving so much support and investment?

Electric transport is better for the environment

In recent years, there has been a huge shift in public awareness surrounding climate change. An increasing demand for more sustainable and environmentally sound transport options has been reflected in the government’s stronger position on reducing greenhouse gases. By switching to zero emission electric vehicles, damaging carbon dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide gases from petrol and diesel engines will no longer enter the air.

With large cities still feeling the harmful effects of air pollution, residents will benefit from improved health along with a reduction in ecological damage as more electric vehicles are introduced. London already has an ‘ultra low emission zone’, and other cities around the UK are all set to follow suit, supporting cleaner travel through urban areas.

Lower running costs

The cost per mile of fuelling an electric vehicle instead of a petrol or diesel one is much lower. Current estimates suggest that charging an electric car costs around half the cost of petrol per mile, and that price drops to a third if you charge your car at home instead of public charging points.

In addition, electric vehicles are cheaper to maintain than those with an internal combustion engine. To put it simply, battery operated vehicles have far fewer moving parts, and less to go wrong. Servicing costs are lower, and replacement parts are often cheaper too.

Convenient charging

With an electric vehicle, you will never be forced to take a detour looking for a petrol station or queue on a busy forecourt again. Designed to charge easily when you’re at home or work, an electric car can be charged by a standard outlet during the working day or overnight and be ready for hundreds of miles of travel, and smaller micromobility vehicles can even be plugged in under your desk. Public charging points are also increasingly widely available, and this will continue to improve as the number of electric vehicles on the road grows over time.

While new owners often struggle with ‘range anxiety’ – the fear of being restricted by battery levels – electric vehicle batteries offer impressive journey ranges that, with a little planning, won’t limit movement.

Electric vehicles are now becoming mainstream, which is a good thing for the planet and a great thing for our wallets. Offering a cleaner, cheaper and more convenient way of getting from A to B, the transition to a fully electric future is a real possibility.

Keep Fit & Healthy on an Electric Scooter

As well as being a fun, affordable and environmentally friendly way to get around, riding an electric scooter is also a great way to improve your health, fitness and wellbeing.

Get Out of the Car and on Your Feet!

In this modern world, it’s fair to say that many of us have a slightly too sedentary lifestyle. Hours a day are spent sitting at our desks and in our cars. As well as the slightly rounded position that many of us favour being bad for our backs, sitting for too long is also bad for general health.

In recent years there have been positive movements towards incorporating more standing time into our days. Standing desks have become a common sight in most modern workplaces. In the same way, using an electric scooter to get around instead of sitting in the car is great for your posture, helping to prevent back pain.

Fresh Air Boost

Every time you choose take your escooter out for a spin, you benefit from getting more fresh air into your body. As well as cleaning your lungs, the increased flow of oxygen you get from fresh air helps you to digest your food more efficiently (great for weight loss!) and strengthens your immune system by helping white blood cells function properly, fighting off bacteria and germs. (If the sun’s shining, you’ll be soaking up vitamin D which supports a strong immune system too.)

Fresh air also boosts energy levels and concentration as more oxygen improves brain function. On top of all that, oxygen affects your serotonin levels, so a blast of fresh air can help to relieve stress and anxiety, leaving you feeling happier and more relaxed.

Burn Extra Calories

As an added bonus, recent studies suggest that standing also burns more calories than sitting due to the number and volume of muscles the body naturally uses to stay upright – so consider your electric scooter journey and extra boost to any weight loss plan!

Those extra muscles you’re using when riding an escooter are all about body balance, which naturally happens as you start to scoot. The body’s core muscles around the stomach, pelvis and back are used for stabilisation every time you ride, naturally improving your core strength in a way that we like to think is more fun than hours of planks and sit-ups. If you want to get your body moving even more, try escootering up and down inclines – the shift in balance makes your core work even harder!

Explore the Great Outdoors

One of the best things about owning an electric scooter is that it gives you complete freedom. There are so many places and outdoor spaces that aren’t accessible by car, but might be too far to walk. Having an escooter encourages you to get out and about.

A great support for people with limited mobility to get a little more active, electric scooters are so much fun to ride that they motivate everyone to take that extra trip, go somewhere new, experience something different. So, jump on your escooter and go – it’s great for both your physical and mental health.

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