e-Scooters Coming to Colchester (& other news)

Lady & man on e-scooterse-Scooters, Befriending, Wellbeing, Fitness & Chitts Hill

e-Scooters will kick off this update but we also have updates on:

e-Scooters Trial Starting Soon

Essex County Council together with SPIN (a Ford subsidiary) is about to start trials of e-Scooters in Colchester.  After early success in Milton Keynes they have already started trials in Chelmsford & Basildon and is expected to start in Colchester as early as 12th February 2021.

Colchester eScooter Trial Area map
The trial is taking place within a ‘Geofenced’ area

A key aim is to provide a socially-distanced and safe way for people to travel that also reduces the number of short car journeys made – Spin’s previous experience in Milton Keynes shows 63 per cent of e-scooter riders used an e-scooter instead of driving.

The trial will start small-scale and be constantly evaluated before any expansion takes place. Essex County Council will enable everyone to give their views and experience during the trials and will monitor and adjust each pilot trial as it progresses.

The rules

  1. Only Spin scooters hired as part of this trial are legal on Essex roads. Private scooters – because they are unable to get insurance – remain illegal, except on private land.
  2. Current rules are that Spin e-scooters are legally allowed to go anywhere that bicycles are legally allowed to go. Bicycles and e-scooters are not allowed on pavements.
  3. To legally ride a Spin e-scooter you must have a driving licence and relevant insurance. To hire a SPIN scooter, you must be 18 and show your driving licence which will be verified by a third-party database. The act of hiring a Spin e-scooter provides you with insurance.
  4. The Spin e-scooters have distinctive orange branding to make them easily recognisable as distinct from privately-owned scooters which are usually black in colour.
  5. All users who hire a Spin e-scooter will be given thorough compulsory training before they can hire a scooter, including modules on responsible driving and disability awareness.
  6. Users cannot book a Spin e-scooter until this training is completed. Then e-scooters will be bookable through a free web app provided by Spin. There will be incentives and disincentives to promote good use of Spin e-scooters.
  7. Each trial will be co-designed with city, borough and district councils, and will support the unique travel needs in each town. E-scooters will provide a controlled way to assess their popularity, safety and impact upon travel and the environment in these towns.
  8. ‘Geofencing’ technology will be used to stop e-scooters being used in areas where they are not permitted. Scooters can operate at a maximum of 15.5 mph and geofencing will be used to create ‘go slow’ and ‘no go’ areas.
  9. The trials will be for a maximum of one year once the schemes are running and will be regularly reviewed.

Hallelujah Parody

If you enjoyed that, you can find more of their songs (together with mum & two brothers) here.

Sportworks logoSport Works Update

Sport Works want  you to know how they can help you / your organisation with physical health & mental wellbeing this year.

Free Wellbeing Programmes

Range of Sport Works actvity videos on their website

Sport Works tutors have switched several face to face projects to online delivery.  They are making these available free of charge to individuals and organisations across the country who are supporting the wellbeing of children and adults from vulnerable communities.

Please get in touch to access their interactive wellbeing programmes (delivered live 5 days per week) if you work with:

  • children with additional needs,
  • older people with long term health conditions or
  • individuals who fall into the ‘vulnerable’ category.

A selection of videos designed to support older people and children with additional needs are also available free of charge, click the link:

Making an Impact in 2021

Older people, individuals with health conditions and the BAME community have been disproportionally affected by the pandemic.  Coupled with soaring youth unemployment, the need for programmes which address health and education for those most affected is greater than ever.

Sport Works have continued their delivery throughout 2020, a summary of impact data is shown below. They are planning to double their reach in 2021 by opening new sites and delivering diverse programmes across more communities.

  • 3,212 people accessed their programmes to
    enhance health, wellbeing and education such as:

    • Adults with mental health difficulties to gain
      qualifications,
    • Prison offenders as part of their community rehabilitation,
    • Disengaged students to re-engage in school and/or gain
      employment,
    • Older people to improve physical and mental health
      challenges,
    • Disabled children to improve social skills and physical
      health,
    • Ethnic minority groups to deliver culturally sensitive
      physical activity programmes.
  • Over 55 partner organisations – in the North
    East alone.
  • 1,204 qualifications awarded.
  • £315k was invested into community sport and
    well-being programmes.

Please send them an email if their work could support you this year.

Lady on phone and letter writing materialsAge Concern Befriending

Do you know someone who is lonely and isolated?  Age Concern’s befriending service could be just the ticket…

  • The chance to chat
  • Telephone Befriending
  • Write Letters – Penfriending
  • Share common interests, or
  • just enjoy some company.

CONTACT  01206 368420 (option 3) to find out more.  All their volunteers go through DBS checks and personal references to ensure a safe high service.

Chitts Hill Closure

Chitts Hill is scheduled to be closed for roadworks by Essex County Council between 8th & 19th February.  The section to be closed is from a point approximately 30m north of its junction with Cooks Lane for a distance of approximately 310m in a northerly direction.  Emergency access will be maintained at all times.

Obviously, snow might delay this and they will always reserve the right to overrun:

The Order will come into effect on 14th January 2021 and may continue in force for 18 months or until the works have been completed, whichever is the earlier.

Micro Grants of up to £500

These are designed to be quick and easily accessible to help community projects at a grass roots level.  These projects would have outcomes that reduce social isolation, improve wellbeing and support better connected communities. The micro-grants can also be used to support any crowd funded projects that demonstrate real community support and engagement.

Essex are offering grants of up to £500 for grassroots organisations responding to the pandemic.  The grants can be given for Communications & Technology projects such as:

  • Designing & printing costs for leaflets,
  • Distribution of leaflets,
  • Advertisements in local media,
  • Building or improving websites, or
  • Improving social media presence.

To find out more and/or apply click the link: