n Can you picture it? Hundreds of suit-wearing workers riding suave and speedy e-scooters to the office. It could become a reality sooner rather than later as the race hots up to run Essex County Council’s proposed “scoot and ride” scheme. Spin, a scooter manufacturing firm, is one of many businesses bidding to become partners with Essex County Council to roll out the e-scooters across the county. And Echo reporter Toby Emes visited Ford Dunton’s test track to trial the e-scooters and find out more about the scheme.

Safety is, of course, paramount if people are going to be asked to join cars on the roads of Basildon town centre and I, as many others, had my concerns.

But a day at Ford’s test track has made one thing clear, as well as being speedy and suave, e-scooters should be safe - if ridden responsibly.

Ford Dunton’s test track is usually home to cars travelling at speeds of 100mph, but yesterday saw four electric scooters moving up and down the main straight instead of a brand new Mustang.

With 100 metres or so of the test track available, I was able to reach the maximum speed of up to 15mph quite quickly. We all know the childish temptation of pushing a machine to its limits, but the scooters will not exceed the top speed - no matter how hard you push.

Helmets may not be mandatory as part of the scheme - and you certainly wouldn’t feel at risk without - but I opted for one for that extra security and peace of mind.

You may miss the feeling of the wind in your hair, but the increased safety will make all the difference.

The scooters are easily operated, with a simple lever marked GO in green on the right handlebar, with a traditional bike brake on the left - and after a few minutes’ use I was at ease on two wheels.

The GO switch can be pushed away from the user to move forward, and released to slow down.

The accelerator will not work unless the driver pushes off from a standing start, just like a usual scooter.

Each bike is fitted with front and rear lights, with the rear remaining switched on at all times - an extremely useful benefit for nearby vehicles and will make all users feel much safer on the roads.

My eyes were immediately drawn to an electronic screen - much like a car dashboard - displaying the speed, whether the lights are working, and the battery life. In usual circumstances, the scooters are unlocked through the Spin smartphone app, at a small cost, as seen in Milton Keynes.

These scooters could be seen across Essex in Basildon, Chelmsford, Brentwood, and Colchester.