E-scooter usage and enforcement

Solent Transport and partners will begin a trial of hiring e-scooters in Southampton on 18 March 2021. The trial is an opportunity to provide safe transport alternatives for the region during the coronavirus pandemic, test e-scooters as a transport option beyond the trial period and improve air quality by using environmentally friendly travel options.

The e-scooter trial was introduced under an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order (ETRO). If you would like to feedback on the trial, please email traffic.orderslegal@southampton.gov.uk

Southampton City Council, working with Solent Transport, is one of a number of local authorities taking part in a national trial of rental e-scooters.

Following the launch of the rental e-scooter trial in Southampton, we ran a survey aimed to understand experiences of and views on the rental e-scooter. View the results.

To use an e-scooter you will need:

  • A full or provisional driving licence that has category Q entitlement. This allows you to drive 2-wheeled and 3-wheeled vehicles without pedals with: an engine size not more than 50cc if powered by an internal combustion engine, with a maximum design speed of no more than 25km/h (15.5mph). Note that Southampton e-scooters are limited to 12.5mph.
  • To be 18 or over
  • To sign up via the Voi app and scan your photo driving licence. You can download the app via the play and app stores

How do I use an e-scooter?

  1. Download the Voi app.
  2. Open the app and search for nearby e-scooters.
  3. Follow the instructions provided in-app.
  4. Scan the QR code to unlock.
  5. Enjoy your ride, follow local regulations, use bike lanes where available, and do not ride on pavements.
  6. Reach your destination and “End Ride” in the app. Park correctly and make sure the e-scooter is not obstructing others.

Where can I ride a Voi e-scooter?

Maps are available in the app showing where the boundaries are for the e-scooters as well as the no-ride and slow-ride zones. The Voi e-scooters have geofencing technology that slows and stops the e-scooters to support safer riding.

To view the boundary of the trial and the relevant information, please download the Voi app.

The e-scooter trial in Southampton currently stretches across the city from Wide Lane down as far as Town Quay and from Lordshill to Thornhill.

All City Centre parks, Greenways and The Common are no-ride zones as well as the Royal South Hants site.

Slow-ride zones are located at the Lawn Road Open Space & Play area as well as Portswood Recreation Ground.

Parking racks for the Voi e-scooters across the city are added as the trial progresses.

Safety First

We want people to think, act and ride safely when hiring a Voi e-scooter.

This short video highlights important safety messages, rules and regulations that every rider should follow to keep themselves, pedestrians and other road users safe - Let's get Southampton scooting safely.

Voi offers free road safety and e-scooter riding lessons at ridelikevoila.com. By taking part riders are rewarded with free rides!

Voi e-scooters also have a beginner’s mode, which will reduce the maximum speed of the e-scooter, starting you off slowly while you get used to the accelerator and brakes. The e-scooters in Southampton are capped to a maximum speed of 12.5mph.


  • One rider per e-scooter
  • Follow the Highway Code
  • We recommend that you wear a helmet
  • Don’t ride on pavements
  • Be aware of surroundings

We know that most people will use e-scooters responsibly and we will work with the operator and the police to address irresponsible use.

What if there is an issue with my e-scooter?

You need to contact Voi directly, via email support@voiapp.io or through the 24-hour customer service helpline (0800-3768179)

What are the rules and restrictions?

E-scooters are classed as Personal Light Electric Vehicles and laws have been changed to allow approved e-scooter rental trials to take place on public roads. You are not allowed to use them on pavements, you may use them on the road (except motorways) as well as cycle lanes.

Using privately owned e-scooters on public land, even in areas where trials are taking place is illegal and the police can enforce this rule and seize e-scooters.

How are they parked?

E-scooters must be parked in designated hubs. A GPS on the e-scooter can track this, parking in incorrect areas can mean riders incur charges or fines through the rental company.

If you see an abandoned e-scooter, it is usually best to report these directly to the e-scooter operator in the first instance. They have the ability to take action against riders and arrange for their local teams to go and pick up abandoned e-scooters.

Abandoned scooters can be reported to Voi.

How are the rules enforced?

If you see someone riding a Voi e-scooter dangerously, please report to Voi.

Dangerous and disturbing riding of any e-scooters can also be reported to the police and users can be fined. You must not use a mobile phone while using an e-scooter. You must not use an e-scooter drunk or intoxicated. You can be prosecuted for drink or drug driving. Careless and dangerous driving offences are also enforceable to riders of e-scooters.

If you see e-scooters in use before trials start, or in areas where trials are not taking place, these are likely to be private e-scooters and are being ridden illegally. Please contact the police and report to the non-emergency number 101, or online here. If you own an e-scooter, you are still liable to all enforcement rules. You should be aware that it is still illegal to use your own e-scooter on public roads, footways, and footpaths - even within the trial areas. You could face a fine, penalty points on your licence and the e-scooter could be impounded.

View our full Q&A