Morten Johansen (left) and Ida Sofie LIndviksmoen of The Edge Hotel (right) show Tromso local Natalie Kvalvik how best to see the city. Photo: M Johnstone / TheLocal
The scrapping of Norway's Segway ban on July 1st has led to an outdoor craze for city users and new opportunities for businesses.
Arctic Segway is the first Segway hire business to open in Norway. The Tromsø-based business started taking bookings on the day the ban was lifted and operate with a fleet of 11 machines. Their first booking was made by the Norwegian Army for its members. They used the machines as part of a team-building trip around Tromsø.
Morten Johansen, managing director of Arctic Segway, said: "The law change
is an opportunity to do something different. Segways are a unique and fun way to see a city and users can see lots of attractions quickly and easily."
Arctic Segway offer city and off-road tours using Segways for private or business groups.
Johansen, also an events company manager in Norway, added: "It has been a very good start to business for us. We have bookings all week and there is certainly interest in hiring the Segways."
A Segway can reach speeds of just over 20km/h and cost 60,000 kroner per machine. They are designed to travel on the city streets or off-road.
Their use was first restricted in Norway, requiring a moped licence before they were deemed unsuitable for road use in Norway and outlawed.
Johansen said: "We respect the need to look after the possibility with pedestrian and road safety and pride ourselves on our attention to safety. All our customers must wear helmets, the minumum age is 16 years old, and no user is allowed to exceed the Segway's speed limit of 20km/h."
Arctic Segway has made a partnership with Tromso luxury hotel, The Edge, to allow their customers to hire Segways and go on tours of the city.
Hilde Grønbech-Hope, general manager for The Edge, said: "The hotel will always be open to whatever is new and fun. We think Segway will be an exciting contribution to our guests and a funny way to experience the incredible city of Tromsø.