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13,000 RIDES: E-scooter trial extended with new zone

13,000 RIDES: E-scooter trial extended with new zone

E-scooter trial extended with new zone after 130,000 rides taken so far, Image: Lime

An e-scooter rental scheme in Salford which has seen more than 130,000 rides taken so far has been extended with a new trial zone to be introduced.

The Lime scooters will be available to rent in the city for another six months.

And starting from next week, they can be used to travel to and from Salford Royal Hospital as the zone where e-scooter rides are permitted is expanded.

The e-scooters, which were first found at the University of Salford’s Peel Park and Frederick Road campuses, are now seen in Ordsall and MediaCityUK too.

E-scooter

Lime E-scooters at MediaCityUK, Salford Quays, Image: Andrew Fisher

The fourth phase of the trial, which will more than double the number of people living within the zone, will come into effect from Tuesday, October 19.

Lime’s UK and Ireland Cities Manager Conor Chaplin said the company is ‘delighted’ Salford council has approved the expansion of the scheme.

He said: “The scheme has proven incredibly popular and – working closely with Salford City Council, TfGM, and the University of Salford – we’re proud to be providing Salford residents and visitors with a clean, green and flexible new way to get around.

“This latest expansion will also enhance access to Salford Royal hospital, allowing key workers to make the most of our ongoing Lime Access scheme which provides discounted rides for emergency workers, concessionary travel pass holders, and jobseekers.”

The Department for Transport, which originally granted a 12-month trial period, invited local authorities to extend their trials to March 31, 2022.

Salford’s deputy city mayor Tracy Kelly approved the extension this week.

E-Scooter trial

Phase 4 of the Lime E-Scooter trial in Salford, Image: Lime

Labour councillor Mike McCusker, who is the lead member for planning and sustainable development at Salford council, ‘fully supports’ the extension.

He said: “It’s incredibly popular. It’s an easy way for people to get around carbon neutral. And it’s good fun too.

“It’s part of our overall plans for cycling, walking and carbon-free travel.”

‘Geofencing’ is used to control the speed of the e-scooters and can completely bring them to a stop should they leave the permitted areas.

Councillors have been told that there have been no ‘significant incidents’ involving the Lime e-scooters since they were first introduced last year.

Lime says it has been ‘working closely’ with local disability and accessibility charities, including North West Sight Loss Councils and the Thomas Pocklington Trust to ensure the scheme continues to operate safely.

The company has also invited blind and partially sighted people to a ‘meet the e-scooter’ event, to learn about the vehicles and raise any concerns they have.

Lime says it is working with North West Sight Loss Councils to implement recommendations following the session, including piloting physical parking racks to reduce the risk of pavement clutter in high usage areas in Salford.

 

Words: Joseph Timan, Local Democracy Reporter


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