By Richard Corbett 

When borough surveyor Charles Jones described Ealing as the “queen of the suburbs” back in 1902, he was speaking out in praise of the district’s leafy streets, extensive parks and proximity to the countryside west of London. Ealing was also, of course, a commercial centre in its own right, as well as being home to many commuters making daily journeys to and from the centre of the capital.  

The same is true today, but as we move into the third decade of the 21st century, the pressures on infrastructure are more intense than ever. Fewer people are travelling on public transport due to safety concerns and that is causing traffic levels to rise again to pre-lockdown levels, with congestion and pollution returning on many of the borough’s busiest traffic routes.  

But there are alternatives. During the pandemic, we’ve already seen thousands more people using bicycles to get around. And in the next few months, there will be another option in the shape of reliable, safe, fun and clean e-scooters. Alternative transport of this kind complements the public transport system, playing a major role in easing congestion and making journeys a great deal more pleasant.   

The good news is that local authorities, including Ealing, are taking action. New cycle lanes are being built, with financial support from Transport for London and new “pop-up” lanes that will relieve pressure on trains and buses.

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The E-Scooter revolution 

But bikes are no longer the only game in town. Founded in Sweden and currently operating in more than 45 European cities, including Milan, Stockholm, Berlin and Zurich, Voi is bidding to run shared e-scooter services in cities across the UK. Having been granted licences in the West Midlands, Cambridge, Peterborough and Northampton, we would love to be operating in Ealing very soon. 

Our experience in Europe indicates that e-scooters can play a major role in addressing some of the acute transport problems facing planners and local authorities.   

With a top speed of 15.5 mph, e-scooters can move people quickly but safely around their own neighbourhoods, allowing them to leave their motor vehicles at home and also avoid public transport.  Equally important, scooters can be used in conjunction with public transport. For instance, a commuter might take an Underground train to Ealing Broadway then complete the journey to the office by e-scooter. We’ve found that scooter users have seen their commuting times drop by 70 per cent.

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Travel safely

At a time when people are concerned about the need to social distance, e-scooters are a good way to steer clear of crowds. Our scooters are new and maintained regularly to keep them running safely. They’re disinfected at least once every 24 hours, and have copper handles to keep them virus-free too. They offer a sensible option to West Londoners looking for a new way to commute. 

When we set up in a new area, we aim to offer a service that’s a real asset to the community. And that’s what Voi would like to do in Ealing. Our service is inclusive and accessible - if we launch in the borough, we want everyone to be able to use Voi e-scooters. That’s why we offer a range of ways to pay to suit all budgets. 

If we bring our e-scooters to Ealing, we’ll be creating jobs and internships for them too, showing that sustainable mobility is a viable new career choice. We’ll be bringing on board everyone from maintenance specialists to keep our e-scooters working beautifully, to an admin team who’ll ensure our service works smoothly. We’re proud to be able to offer work in our communities - we’ve already created more than 400 new jobs across Europe in the two years since we launched our operations and could create hundreds more in the UK. 

We’re proud of the work we’ve already done in the communities we operate in, and we’re looking forward to investing in Ealing, bringing people in your community a new, safe and affordable way to get to wherever they need to be.

For more information about Voi Scooters click here

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