Expanding the Voi e-scooter trial across the entirety of Bristol is a ‘fundamentally fair’ move that will give deprived areas of the city an added transport option, the Mayor of Bristol has said.
In plans expected to be rubber-stamped by Bristol City Council’s cabinet next week, the scheme will finally be rolled out to areas to the north west and far south of the city over the coming months.
These neighbourhoods have missed out on the e-scooters since the Voi trial launched in the city in October 2020, and include areas of south Bristol such as Hartcliffe, Whitchurch, Withywood and Hengrove in May.
Areas in the north west of the city, including Lawrence Weston, will get the e-scooters next month.
According to figures detailing Indices of Deprivation from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, shown here on a map, parts of these areas are some of the most deprived in the country, with residents in south Bristol often commenting that they feel ‘forgotten about’.
South Bristol was also one of the worst-hit locations in a recent cost-cutting move by First Bus, which announced this month that it was changing or axing more than 20 of its key bus routes across the city.
Marvin Rees told a press conference on Wednesday (March 29) that he was well aware of the disparities in terms of initiatives made available to different communities, depending on whether they were in central Bristol or located on the city’s outskirts.
Referring to the expansion, he told BristolWorld: “To me, there’s a basic fairness with this.
“Historically, and it's always been a challenge, central parts of the city have been the areas that benefit from different innovations and projects.
“Meanwhile areas on the outskirts whether that be Avonmouth, Lawrence Weston or Hartcliffe, have been left out.
“Extending the scheme to all parts of city is just fundamentally fair, and it adds another transport option for people right across Bristol.”