Transport for Greater Manchester and Lime launch Christmas campaign to promote safe e-scooter riding during the festive season
Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) and Lime, the world’s largest shared electric-bike and scooter company, along with Rochdale and Salford Councils have launched a Christmas campaign raising awareness of the risks of purchasing private e-scooters as gifts this festive season, as well as drink riding.
While e-scooters offer a convenient and environmentally friendly way to travel, the only ones legal to ride in public spaces in Greater Manchester are Lime’s rental e-scooters, which are part of a Department for Transport and TfGM approved trial scheme in Rochdale and Salford.
Any other type of e-scooter purchased from a retailer cannot be used legally unless ridden on private land with the landowner’s permission. If caught riding one in public spaces, consumers risk their e-scooter being seized by police, fines and even points on their driving licence.
To combat the issue of gifting private e-scooters this Christmas, Lime will be launching a January gift-swap service for anyone that received one, but wasn’t aware of the risks, with more details to be revealed on Boxing Day. The initiative follows news last month that almost 150 privately owned e-scooters were seized by Greater Manchester Police in the last 12 months for being ridden illegally.
Conor Chaplin, Public Policy Manager for Lime, UK & Ireland, commented: “We want to make sure people in Greater Manchester are riding our rental e-scooters in a way that’s safe and legal as the Christmas festivities begin. With Omicron variant cases rising, e-scooters are an open-air means of transport that can help people travel while remaining socially distanced. However, unregulated, private e-scooters - which have been marketed by many retailers as gifts in the last month - are set to catch millions of people out this Christmas. We know consumers aren’t always aware of this, which is why we’re ramping up this message to keep our riders and the public safe.”
In addition to this, Lime and TfGM have also launched a series of measures to discourage drink riding as alcohol consumption is expected to spike during the upcoming festive season. E-scooters are currently classified as motor vehicles under UK law, meaning they are subject to the same legal requirements as cars, including those relating to drink driving.
To raise awareness and ensure consumers don’t get into legal trouble, hang-tags will be placed on Lime e-scooters throughout Salford and Rochdale to remind riders of the legal status and safety risks of riding under the influence, as well as regular in-app messaging.
Councillor Sara Rowbotham, Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Climate Change and Sustainability at Rochdale Borough Council supported the scheme and said "We're keen for people to make the most of Lime e-scooters as a sustainable way to get around, but people must remember that only scooters rented through a DfT trial such as this one in Rochdale are legal on public roads. Anyone using a private e-scooter in public risks points on their licence,
fines, and the vehicle being seized by police."
Councillor Mike McCusker, Lead Member for Planning and Sustainable Development at Salford City Council, also welcomed the initiative and said: “E-scooters are great to ride as part of the legal trial but people buying their own must be aware that they can only be used on private land with the permission of the land owner.”
Lime e-scooters can be rented in Rochdale and Salford by anyone 18+ who has at least a provisional driving license. They can be used in cycle lanes, cycle tracks and on non-motorway roads - essentially anywhere a bike can go.
Concession pass holders, emergency service workers, students and jobseekers can get a 50% discount on all rides by signing up for Lime Access.
Transport for Greater Manchester Press Office
0161 244 1055
Notes to editors
Lime's mission is for a future of transport that is shared, electric and zero-emission. As the world's leading provider of shared electric vehicles, Lime partners with cities to deploy electric bikes, e-scooters and e-mopeds to serve any trip under five miles. One of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential Companies in 2021, Lime has powered more than 250 million rides in more than 200 cities across five continents, spurring a new generation of clean alternatives to car ownership.
Lime is the largest micromobility operator in the UK, having run its shared e-bike service in London for over three years, delivering over 4.5 million zero-emission rides to date. It also runs a successful e-scooter service in London, alongside similar trial services in Greater Manchester and Milton Keynes