Salford presses start on e-scooter trial

Categories: University Campus

E-scooters have been given the go ahead in Salford – and will be on the streets next month.

City Mayor Paul Dennett gave approval to a trial scheme, for up to 12 months, in partnership with Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) and the University of Salford.

Lime, which already provides e-scooters in 125 cities around the world, has been chosen to supply and operate the scooters.

The trials will begin at The University of Salford Peel Park and Frederick Road campus, before being expanded to connect the campus to MediaCityUK. Phase three will see the trial zone expanded to cover Ordsall and city centre Salford. The trial will be open to everyone over 18 with either a provisional or full driving licence to use within the designated trial areas.

Councillor Mike McCusker, Executive Support Member for Planning, Housing and Sustainable Development, said: “This is an exciting opportunity for Salford to trial sustainable, green transport.

“We’ve made huge advances in green transport, with investment in electric car charging points, investment in our network of former railway lines which now provide 27 kilometres of traffic free routes for commuting and pleasure and now we’re delighted to pioneer the use of e-scooters.” 

Nicola Kane, Head of Strategic Planning, Research and Innovation at TfGM, said: “E-scooters have been hugely successful in many other countries around the world. We know people want to use them to get about and they can be a stepping-stone to encouraging them to use cars less for local journeys – reducing congestion, improving connectivity with public transport hubs and making our air cleaner. 

“We’ve worked in close partnership with Salford City Council on this project. We have also engaged widely with stakeholders such as Greater Manchester Police, the Royal National Institute for the Blind and local council members, putting us in a strong position for launch and ensuring that the schemes are accessible.”

Mike Brown, Director of Strategic Partnerships at The University of Salford, said: “Our research and teaching in autonomous and electric vehicle innovation leads the way in the UK. We saw trialling e-scooters and researching ‘micro-mobility’ over short distances around and between campuses and local transport hubs as an opportunity we could not miss.

“I am sure our students will welcome the use of e-scooters and I hope it will help provide some enjoyment and excitement in the return to campus during these uncertain times.”

E-scooter hire schemes are widespread in other European cities such as Paris, Berlin and Rome. The UK trials have been fast-tracked by the government as part of the national response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Lime was appointed after thorough selection process, being chosen over 15 other providers which expressed an interest. Lime was selected due to its global experience, commitments to investing in Salford, strong record of safety and its reliable and sturdy scooter design.

Lime is the world’s leading micro mobility company, operating in over 125 global cities, including the UK’s first multi-modal scheme in Milton Keynes, which has seen thousands of people benefit from this new, environmentally friendly mode of transport, with over 18,000 rides being taken in the first month of the trial. Lime will be fully responsible for all implementation and operating costs.

Florence Milner, Lime General Manager for the UK and Ireland said: “We’re delighted to have been selected by Salford to run their trial.

“As the leading global provider, we are excited to work with innovative towns and cities such as Salford, offering the best and safest solution for its residents to move around their city with zero impact on the environment.”

E-scooters can be accessed through the Lime app on a smartphone. Riders will approach a scooter and scan the QR code on the handlebars to begin a ride. Each scooter ride will cost £1 to unlock and 15p per minute to ride. When a ride is complete, users must park the scooter in designated parking locations and take a photo to confirm the end of the ride. This ensures the scooter is responsibly parked and out of the path of pedestrians. 

When it comes to Covid-19, Lime is taking a range of precautions to address potential safety concerns. While Covid-19 is considered to transmit through close contact from person-to-person, and surface transmission is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads, Lime has enhanced the cleaning of scooters and increased its frequency. Lime cleans all parts of the scooter that are touched by people and only uses products on the Center for Biocide Chemistries list that have been approved by public health officials for use against the coronavirus.

Lime distributes hand sanitiser, masks, gloves and other personal protective equipment (PPE) to its employees in all of its warehouses. Mechanics and operators in the field are required to wear gloves and wash their hands regularly.

Lime asks riders to stay safe and take the necessary steps to help protect themselves and their communities as advised by public health officials. The company focuses communication with riders on the below health and safety tips when riding with Lime, delivering education through in-app messaging, emails, social media, local media and its blog. Lime asks to:

  • Listen to advice from your local public health officials on COVID-19 prevention
  • Inspect the e-scooter or e-bike to ensure the wheels, brakes, throttle, lights, and frame are all in good working condition
  • Mask up in public settings and wash your hands or use hand sanitizer before and after riding with Lime
  • Educate yourself on safe, vigilant, and socially-distanced riding. Don’t forget your helmet!

Find out more information on Lime.

About Lime

Lime's mission is to foster people-first cities by empowering residents with more affordable, reliable, and sustainable transportation options. As the global leader in micromobility, Lime partners with cities to deploy electric bikes and scooters enabled with GPS and self-activating locks. Lime has powered more than 150 million rides in more than 120 cities across five continents, spurring a new generation of clean alternatives to car ownership. Learn more at li.me.

For all press office enquiries please email communications@salford.ac.uk.