Salford e-scooter trial to be extended - with calls to introduce it across Greater Manchester

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Nearly half a million trips have been made on the Lime e-scooters since the pilot launched in 2020.

Salford’s electric scooter riders have got the green light to carry on riding for another two years.

The new deal with Lime, which claims to be the world’s largest e-scooter operator, will run until May 2024 following agreement with the Department of Transport and Transport for Greater Manchester. E-scooters were launched on the city’s streets for a trial period in September 2020.

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Lime says the extension is a result of ‘the continued success of the e-scooter scheme which has received a positive reception from Salford residents’. The company recently reached 430,000 e-scooter rides in the city – 270,000 of which were made in the past 12 months.

It also follows the launch of the University of Salford’s Healthy Active Cities research, studying e-scooter use in the Greater Manchester area.

E-scooter hire ‘should be across Manchester’

According to the research, 68% of respondents believe that there should be an e-scooter hire scheme across Greater Manchester, and 59% believe the scheme will make the area a more attractive place to live.

The research also highlighted how Greater Manchester residents are beginning to integrate e-scooters into their daily lives, and have started to replace journeys that would have otherwise been made from another mode of transport.

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Some 67% of Lime users responding to the survey reported having used e-scooters for a journey that they would have usually made using another mode of transport (excluding walking), and almost half (49%) of riders report having used e-scooters instead of a car (private or taxi + ride-hailing).

Will the e-scooter trial be scrapped or extended in Milton Keynes?Will the e-scooter trial be scrapped or extended in Milton Keynes?
Will the e-scooter trial be scrapped or extended in Milton Keynes?

Four out of 10 riders (38%) are using e-scooters to connect with public transport, and some have turned to e-scooters as an option when public transport is unavailable such as travelling to and from shift work.

The study is the first of its kind and the largest study on e-scooters in the UK to date, with more than 2,400 survey responses, 49 one-on-one interviews, and 13 focus groups.

Hal Stevenson, senior public affairs manager for Lime UKI, said: “We’ve really enjoyed working with Salford city council and Transport for Greater Manchester.

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Residents have truly embraced e-scooters into their daily lives and this is a step in the direction as we look to take more cars off roads.

“E-scooters are becoming an integral part of Greater Manchester’s sustainable transport infrastructure more broadly too. As public confidence in the scheme continues to grow, we’re looking forward to continuing to develop Lime’s presence in the community.”

Nicola Kane, head of strategic planning, research and innovation at Transport for Greater Manchester, said: “The trial has provided an opportunity for Greater Manchester to be at the forefront of transport innovation, providing insights into how shared e-scooters can contribute to the Bee Network vision and help achieve our strategic goals set out in the 2040 Transport Strategy.

“This report provides us with a detailed evidence base to help evaluate the future role of shared e-scooters in Greater Manchester.”

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Dr Graeme Sherriff, co-director/sustainable housing and urban studies unit and research fellow at the University of Salford, said: “We’ve found it really interesting to look at the ways in which people are building e-scooters into their travel routines.

People value the ability to pick up an e-scooter to make a short journey, and then drop them off on arrival.

“Our report highlights challenges, not least perceptions of risk in busy traffic and in shared use areas. It therefore adds to the evidence base supporting the provision of more high-quality infrastructure for walking, cycling and scooting.”

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