Voi e-scooter trial extended for Commonwealth Games as more than 200 roads are closed

Voi says help shift workers, NHS staff or even those wanting a safe ride home at the night with major travel disruption as more than 200 roads are closed and one million visitors arrive in Birmingham

E-scooter company Voi is set to expand its trial further in Birmingham to cover the venues hosting the Commonwealth Games.

The Games run from July 28 to August 8, and the company has also announced that the rental e-scooter service is now available 24/7 - instead of stopping at 10pm.

Voi says that the extension of the trial will enable their e-scooters to offer an accessible mode of transport as transport disruption is expected with the one million visitors to the city and road closures as events take place. In particular it says it can help shift workers, NHS staff or even those wanting a safe ride home at the night following the Games - making it easier to leave the car at home.

Back in May, the service expanded across the city to the likes of Bordesley Green, Handsworth, Harborne and Bournville, and this further expansion includes the northern part of the city centre, following the approval by Birmingham City Council last week.

There have been some concerns about the trial with a number of accidents reported.

The region reported 71 e-scooter related accidents and four casualties during 2021, according to research from the personal injury team at national law firm, Simpson Millar.

Jacob Mullen rode a Voi e-scooter in Park Street, Bristol, while over the alcohol limit

Which areas has the scheme been expanded to?

The expansion means that the scheme now covers nearly 50 square miles of the city,

The service covers a large part of the city to the north, east and west of the city centre, this means it will be easier for people to combine e-scooters with public transport, particularly at Birmingham New Street, University Station and Snow Hill train stations, as well as help travel to the numerous hotels across Birmingham.

Residents and spectators attending the upcoming sports events will now be able to use an e-scooter.

Riders will be able to hop-on and ride to the following (selected) locations:

  • Perry Hall Park, Alexander Stadium, Opening and closing ceremonies and the main track and field events
  • Cannon Hill Park, Edgbaston Cricket GroundT20 cricket
  • Rag Market, Smithfields, Volleyball and basketball events in the city centre
  • City Centre Gardens, the Arena Birmingham Rhythmic and artistic gymnastics
  • New Fosse Way, University of Birmingham Hockey and squash events, athletes’ village and swimming and athletics training
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, speaks of the WMCA’s plan for growth

What’s been said about the plans?

Jack Samler, General Manager at Voi UKI, said:“Birmingham is a pioneering city when it comes to micromobility adoption and we are delighted to make our service available 24/7 and expand the operating area further to give even more Brummies and the expected 1.5 million visitors easy access to a safe, convenient and greener transport mode.

“Meantime, we will continue to work closely with Transport for West Midlands and Birmingham City Council to ensure our service replaces more short car journeys, making the city less congested and polluted as it hosts one of the most important sporting events in its history.”

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “With more than a million rides so far, e-scooters have proven popular on our patch - in many cases encouraging local residents to substitute the car in favour of the scooter for shorter journeys.

“So it’s good news that the trial zone is being extended to cover places in the north and east of Birmingham like Erdington, Kingstanding and - perfectly timed for the Commonwealth Games - Perry Barr, which is of course home to Alexander Stadium.

Plans for 200+ road closures

The news of the expanded e-scooter scheme comes with plans for more than 200 road diversions and parking bans in place to accommodate Birmingham 2022.

Detailed transport arrangements and travel plans for the venues have now been shared.

As expected, a number of roads by the chosen venues will be affected by the Games. You can see how many roads will be affected below.

Alexander Stadium

Restrictions will be in place on 42 roads surrounding the stadium from 27 July to 8 August.

Controlled parking restrictions will be in place on many of the roads, with no stopping restrictions also in place.

Arena Birmingham

Restrictions will be in place on 53 roads surrounding Arena Birmingham from 26 July until 7 August.

Controlled parking restrictions will be in place on many of the roads, with no stopping restrictions also in place.

University of Birmingham

Restrictions will be in place on 31 roads in the area from 28 July until 9 August.

Nine roads will also be affected around the university’s athletes village.

Edgbaston Stadium

Restrictions will be in place on 20 roads in the area from 28 July until 8 August.

Controlled parking restrictions will be in place on many of the roads, with some no stopping restrictions also in place and permit only restrictions.

Smithfield

Restrictions will be in place on six roads in the area will be affected from 28 July until 8 August.

Sutton Park

Restrictions will affect 15 roads surrounding Sutton Park from 29 July to 31 August.

Perry Barr

Restrictions will be in place on 49 roads in the area from 22 July until 10 August.

Controlled parking restrictions will be in place on many of the roads, with some no stopping restrictions also in place and permit only restrictions.

To see the roads in full, visit the Birmingham 2022 website, here.

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