Rochdale Borough Council select Lime for upcoming e-scooter trial

  • Trial aimed at improving first and last mile connectivity as well as reducing local reliance on cars for shorter trips
  • Lime will deploy up to 500 e-scooters across Rochdale, expanding the service in phases to ensure the scheme is managed properly
  • Service will also see the provider make significant investments in the local community, including creation of a Lime “Community Hub” in the town centre and providing unlimited free rides for Rochdale’s key workers

Thursday March 18, Rochdale, Greater Manchester: Rochdale Borough Council has selected Lime, the world’s largest and most experienced micro mobility provider, to deliver their upcoming e-scooter trial.

Lime was chosen following a comprehensive selection process, with RBC particularly impressed with the provider’s local knowledge and experience, and industry leading Gen 4 e-scooter hardware. Lime’s planned community investment and engagement initiatives, including creating a Lime “Community Hub” office in Rochdale town centre and providing unlimited rides for Rochdale key workers as part of their global Lime Aid initiative, were also welcomed. 

The e-scooter trial is aimed at making transport hubs and key locations easier to reach for local residents, as well as reducing reliance on cars for short journeys, which currently make up around half of journeys taken in Rochdale borough. The trial will initially cover Rochdale town centre, before extending outwards to areas like Castleton and Milnrow, with further performance-based extensions to Heywood and Littleborough. It will last up to 12 months, with the option for a 6-month extension, subject to Department for Transport guidelines.

Working closely with Rochdale Borough Council and Transport for Greater Manchester, Lime will initially launch 100 scooters before expanding the service to up to 500 scooters if there is sufficient demand. A phased approach will be used to minimise any potential issues relating to antisocial behaviour and misuse and ensure the maximum benefit is delivered for the residents of Rochdale.

Cllr Sara Rowbotham, Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Sustainability at Rochdale Borough Council, said: “I’m really excited to see this project take off. We like to do things differently here in Rochdale and this scheme will give people a new transport option, which will help drive down car journeys and make it easier for people to enjoy everything that Rochdale town centre has to offer in a unique way.

“Lime’s first-class technology is designed to ensure that safety is prioritised, with speeds capped and people not able to stray off route. Discounts for frontline workers and lower earners are also really important to us, so I’m really pleased that these users will be able to access this scheme for a minimal cost.” 

Conor Chaplin, Transport for Greater Manchester’s Innovation Strategy Officer said: 

 “e-Scooters have already seen huge success in other countries, and we’re excited to be supporting another e-scooter trial in Greater Manchester. The trial in Rochdale is the second of its kind in the region and another example of Greater Manchester’s willingness to embrace future mobility. It will further support our regional transport goals outlined in the recently updated Greater Manchester Transport Strategy 2040 such as reducing congestion, making our air cleaner, and improving connectivity to public transport hubs.

E-scooters have been hugely successful in many other countries around the world, and we are already starting to realise the benefits they offer to Greater Manchester residents. We know people want to start using e-scooters to get about and they can be a stepping-stone to encourage people to use cars less for shorter, local trips. We’ve worked in close partnership with Rochdale Borough Council on this project and have sought guidance from key stakeholders like Greater Manchester Police, local council members and sight-loss groups. This, combined with the use of highly accurate geofences and a proactive approach to scheme management, puts us in a strong position for launch and ensuring the scheme has a positive impact for Rochdale’s residents. We’ll be collecting evidence and data throughout both the Rochdale and Salford trials to better understand the future impacts of micromobility on our transport network.”

Alan Clarke, Lime’s Director of Policy and Government Affairs for Northern Europe said: “We’re proud to be launching our e-scooter service in Rochdale, building on our existing presence in the Greater Manchester region and working with Rochdale Borough Council and Transport for Greater Manchester to contribute to building a more connected, sustainable Rochdale. Our Gen4 e-scooters are safe, socially distant and sustainable, and we know Rochdale residents are going to love them.”

Lime e-scooters will be available to hire for local residents with a provisional or full driving license and will cost £1 to unlock and 15p per minute to ride. Self-declared lower income users will be able to receive a 50% discount on all rides via Lime’s Access initiative, whilst key workers will ride for free as a result of Lime’s Lime Aid policy, which has already delivered over 13,000 free rides to frontline workers across the UK. Local residents will also be able to use Lime scooters to travel to and from their COVID-19 vaccine appointments free of charge via Lime’s “Ride to Recovery” scheme, ensuring vaccination centres are accessible for everyone.

Scooters will be capped at a top speed of 12mph across the Rochdale trial area to ensure they are being used responsibly, with Lime employing a 25-person strong local operations team to help manage the service on a day-to-day basis, making sure scooters are being parked in designated parking zones, as well as regularly sanitised between uses. e-Scooters will be restricted to the designated trial zone through the use of highly-accurate GPS tracking on every scooter, which also allows slow-speed zones and no-ride zones to be deployed. When a user finishes their trip, scooters must be parked within the designated parking zones which are marked in Lime’s mobile app.

Lime is also working with RBC and TfGM to launch “First Ride” safety events as part of the trial launch, and Rochdale residents will also be able to access free e-scooter training materials on Lime’s app and online, via their UK E-scooter Driving School in partnership with road safety experts, the AA. 

Rochdale is Lime’s latest service to be announced in Greater Manchester, with its successful scheme in Salford - in partnership with Salford City Council, TfGM, the University of Salford and MediaCityUK - having already safely delivered more than 20,000 rides for 9,000 users since its launch late last year.

Contact Information

Transport for Greater Manchester Press Office

0161 244 1055