Birmingham New Street is the busiest train station in the UK outside of London. Birmingham also boasts one of the craziest road systems, with Spaghetti Junction notoriously one of the most calorific when it comes to carbon emissions. So, in short, Birmingham is a busy and buzzing metropolis, but it does also have an appetite for change. In fact, this is a city with the most Michelin star restaurants outside of London. So, when we chatted with Voi riders in Birmingham, for whom micromobility is a regular on the menu, we discovered the ingredients that make Brummies brim over with enthusiasm for e-scooters.
Voi has Birmingham covered
From Highbury Hall to Handsworth Wood in the north, Edgbaston to Aston, Voi has got your number, 021. The feedback from our riders, as you can see in the video above, is that our e-scooters are facilitating a really wide range of travel in Birmingham. Such as Kyle, who says that, “Voi to me is very handy. It’s right outside my apartment and it allows me to get to and from work, very comfortable rate… I work in Edgbaston and Digbeth, both of which take me about 10 to 15 minutes on a Voi.”
In Birmingham, Voiagers veer their way through over 30 square kilometres of streets, and it has the second highest concentration of e-scooters of all the towns and cities where we operate in the UK. This geographical spread has enabled riders to cover over 1.2 million miles since we launched in Birmingham in March 2020. From students to shoppers, office workers to jewellery makers (Birmingham is home to one of the UK’s oldest jewellery quarters, as you can see in our city guide), six in 10 of our riders in Birmingham say that the service covers the areas they wish to ride. This means we still have work to do, but we are definitely getting there.
Birmingham is one big handy hub
As Birmingham is in the heart of the country, it has provided vital transport arteries throughout the Midlands and beyond for years. Consequently, having transport close to hand is integral to Brummie living, and we are delighted that our e-scooters are being recognised for their ‘handiness’ and ‘convenience’ factors.
Throughout the city there are plenty of locations to hop-off and hop-on and, as Jack says in the video below: “they’re convenient – they’re everywhere!”. As a major transport hub, it is also not surprising that our most popular e-scooter parking hubs are those in and around Birmingham New Street station, the heartbeat of the city’s transport system, facilitating a connection for e-scooter riders to train travel.
This intermodality, not only connecting with trains but also the city’s main coach station, bus and tram stops, serves to keep Birmingham’s transport hub as strong as it has always been, or indeed even stronger, given that more people can access stations by scooter. Jack, featured in the video below, is one of the 39% of Voi riders in Birmingham who are actively making a modal shift, and leaving the car at home.
Birmingham’s Clean Air Zone
Birmingham and the West Midlands have been the home of British car manufacturing for the last 125 years. Where iconic brands such as Rover, MG and the Mini, were once coming off the conveyor belt in their hundreds of thousands, a new era of micromobility and zero emissions transport is now being embraced.
Birmingham’s Clean Air Zone was introduced in June 2021, soon after our own low carbon, clean service arrived into the city. Birmingham may have traditionally been car central, but now drivers of the most polluting vehicles have to pay £8 to drive into the city. In addition, Birmingham City Council announced, in October 2021, what it describes as a “transformative” transport plan, diverting motorists away from the city centre, and transforming it with more car-free lanes and protected areas for bikes and e-scooters.
As Jack points out in the video above, “I leave my car outside of town, so instead of driving into Birmingham, leave it outside of town, cheaper parking, no Clean Air Zone charge, get a scooter in here, get a scooter back out again.” It’s a no-brainer for Brummies, so we thank them for getting ‘in the Zone’, and leading the way in creating cities free of congestion and pollution.