PEOPLE will soon be able to ride e-scooters around Taunton.

The Department of Transport has today (Tuesday) approved Somerset West and Taunton Council's plans, which will create four full-time jobs during a 12-month trial.

Cllr Peter Pilkington, SWT executive member for climate change, said: "SWT is in the process of approving a district-wide plan as part of its commitment to tackling climate change, and has already implemented several initiatives to help create a more sustainable future for everyone.

"I am delighted that we have been successful in our bid to be part of the trial scheme and to have secured Zipp Mobility as our operator.

"e-scooters offer a cleaner, low carbon alternative to cars and provide another green alternative to get around and allow for social distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic."

The Zipp Mobility e-scooter features an aircraft-grade aluminium frame, 10-inch airless tyres, a swappable battery, dual braking, a wide base and a low centre of gravity, as well as anti-viral handlebar wraps that kill 99.98 per cent of coronaviruses.

Zipp chief executive Charlie Gleeson said: "We are delighted to be partnering with SWT for this trial.

"We place a strong emphasis on safety and quality of service and we are excited to bring this model to the district."

Will O’Brien, Zipp's vice president of growth and government affairs, said: "SWT's commitment to work towards carbon neutrality by 2030 is among the most ambitious in the country.

"We are excited to work with such an environmentally-conscious local authority."

Ahead of the e-scooter trial scheme going live, SWT and Zipp Mobility are holding training and education sessions - the first are between noon and 2pm on Friday and 10am to 2pm on Saturday, with all participants receiving a free safety helmet. To book visit

The hired vehicles can only be used within set geographical boundaries, so Traffic Regulation Orders are being amended to be ready to start the trial.

Only e-scooters involved in the trials can be used in public areas and it remains illegal to use privately owned e-scooters in a public space.

SWT and Zipp Mobility are working with the Avon and Somerset Police to educate people about these laws.

Richard McKiernan, the force's traffic management officer, said: "Whilst the trial offers a new and exciting way of moving around the area, we strongly recommend that users attend one of the training sessions before taking to the road.

"These sessions will help give an understanding of the rules of their use, as well as emphasising the importance of personal safety while on the road.

"I would urge anyone who owns an e-scooter to take note of the laws around their use. Remember – an e-scooter is a ‘vehicle’ and that any misuse can lead to penalty points being endorsed on your driving licence."