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 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 Salford e-scooters 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 e-scooters 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 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 responsbily parked and out of the path of pedestrians.