PLANS to extend a trial of e-scooters in Oxford have been delayed for nearly four weeks.

The orange-coloured e-scooters are currently being trialled in Headington and New Marston, with the hopes of a wider rollout to other areas of the city in the future.

The second phase of this rollout was due to take place on Friday, May 21, with areas including Cowley, East Oxford and the city centre set to become part of the zone where e-scooters, managed by a company called Voi, could patrol.

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However, this rollout never happened as planned.

Oxfordshire County Council, which is overseeing trial of the e-scooters confirmed there had been a delay in a short statement.

A spokesman for the county council said: "The e-scooter hire scheme with our partner Voi Technology will expand in Oxford shortly.

"We’ve had to hold off the expansion for the planned date amid network considerations to take account of."

Earlier this week it was announced that the Cowley trial of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods, areas where bollards are being used to cut through traffic, would be extended until November.

In an explanation for why this was happening, the county council said it was linked to the e-scooter trial.

The council said it had re-set the six-month trial on May 13 as a result of 'a modification for the use of its e-scooter hire scheme'.

Further explanation of how the two were linked was not given to this paper.

According to a council document seen by the Oxford Mail in May, the e-scooters were set to be expanded into the‘eastern arc’ of Oxford, an area which covers Cowley, East Oxford, Iffley and Rose Hill, as well as Jericho and Oxford city centre up to the north end of St Giles.

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At the moment, if the e-scooters move outside this area they are supposed to automatically grind to a halt.

Voi, the company which manages the scooters, operates a ‘geofencing’ system which uses satellite technology to prevent the scooters from moving outside the Headington trial area.

Around 350 scooters would be made available in the new wider area.

There are currently 120 scooters available in the Headington area alone.

The scooters can be dropped off anywhere once riders are finished with their journeys.

This had led to some concerns about the e-scooters obstructing narrow pavements and impeding people with disabilities in particular.

Voi and the county council have painted e-scooter parking bays across Headington, and in the phase two area 250 of these are likely to be marked out.

If the second phase of the trial is deemed to be successful, then there are plans to open the entirety of the ‘wider Oxford urban area’ to e-scooter use.

This would not just include the rest of Oxford, but also Kennington, Kidlington, Yarnton, Begbroke, Cumnor, and Horspath, according to a Government map used to define this area.

There had been concerns about the lack of opportunity for Oxford city councillors to give feedback on the phase 2 plans.