THE extent to which eco-friendly electric scooters can be safely used on public land is set to be trialled on roads across north Essex.

Spearheaded by Essex County Council and e-scooter rental company Spin, the innovative trials will run in Colchester, Clacton, and Braintree.

The pilots, which will also be overseen by Essex Police, are part of the authority’s Safer, Greener, Healthier transport campaign.

The idea behind the trials is to see whether or not Spin, which is owned by Ford, can provide a safe way for electric scooters to be used for travel in the community.

Having gained approval from the Department of Transport, council officials are now liaising with local authorities to establish when the trials can be rolled out.

The e-scooter tests are likely to start on a relatively small scale and will be constantly evaluated via strong feedback channels before any expansion plan is put in place.

The trials, if given the go-ahead, are likely to run for no more than a year, but this will be regularly reviewed.

Councillor Kevin Bentley, deputy leader of Essex County Council and cabinet member for infrastructure, hopes scooter rental can soon provide an alternative to car travel.

He said: “This is another option for residents, workers and anyone interested in getting around locally in the trial areas, removing congestion from our local streets.

“I am hopeful it will prove to be a great success, but we will not hesitate to pause any scheme if we identify significant problems – that is the point of having a trial.”

As well trialling how safe the scheme can be for those using the electric scooters, it is also designed to measure the impact it could have on all road users.

Currently, it is against the law to use electric scooters on public land and therefore anyone spotted using a scooter not hired from Spin could be punished.

The use of the Spin scooters, which have distinctive orange branding, will only be permitted on travel routes also used by bicycles, so not on pavements.

Geofencing technology will also be used to stop the e-scooters being used in areas where they are not permitted and keep their speed to a maximum of 15.5 mph.

Chief inspector Emma Bullock, head of roads policing at Essex Police, said: “We don’ want usually law-abiding citizens to inadvertently break the law.

“That said, we will take action against anyone not complying with the e-scooter regulations and that could mean seizing the e-scooter.

“If you are taking part in the trial, please take precautions to ensure your personal safety such as wearing a helmet.”

To hire a Spin e-scooter, which will be insured, users must be 18 or over and be able to produce their driving licence and have completed mandatory training.

The general public is encouraged to express their opinions regarding the e-scooter trials by emailing