Lots more e-scooters for Salford

City Council expands successful partnership with Lime, increasing e-scooter fleet across the region by 45% – and using sophisticated tech to address potential critics.  

Since 2021, 1m trips have been made across Salford on e-scooters provided by Lime. Indeed, the company reports consistent growth in the hire service, with people using e-scooters to commute as well as to socialise. 

Man riding a Lime e-scooter on a road in front of a bridge crossing water, photo courtesy of Lime

Photo courtesy of Lime

E-scooters have proved to be very popular with riders – but concerns have been raised that they can be a hazard to pedestrians. To address this, many of the Lime e-scooters available in Salford are fitted with sophisticated tech. The result is a good example of how technology and data can be used to bolster a business.

GPS technology and in-app notifications ensure that riders pick up and drop off hired e-bikes and e-scooters in designated parking bays (indicated by ‘P’ icons on the Lime app), to further encourage responsible use. 

Beyond this, ‘Lime Vision’ is an AI-enabled system that uses camera sensors and machine learning to detect whether the e-scooter is being ridden on the road (as it should be) or pavement (as it shouldn’t). If ridden on the pavement, an e-scooter equipped with Lime Vision will sound an alert and slow down. The system also collects data that can be shared with the council and Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), which can then inform decisions about the service in future.  

Indeed, evidence of this sort has informed the decision to expand the scheme. As well as ensuring there are more e-scooters available to hire, Lime is now working with the council and TfGM to assess further areas in which to operate and more parking zones, with the scheme extending into the town of Eccles. 

The whole project is part of a wider trial of e-scooters overseen by the Department for Transport (DfT), the hope being to give more people access to shared, sustainable and active modes of travel in across Greater Manchester.  

To encourage take-up of the scheme, discounts are available to a range of Salford residents such as key workers, students and those registered with Jobcentre Plus. They can apply for membership of ‘Lime Access’, giving them a 50% discount on hiring e-bikes and e-scooters. 

Alice Pleasant, Public Affairs Manager at Lime, says: ‘Since launching in Salford, e-scooters have been firmly integrated into local life and Lime has become an important transport option for residents as they look to commute, see friends, or otherwise.  

‘We are always striving to motivate people to take the step away from cars and are delighted to see such a positive reception to our e-scooters in the city. We hope through increasing our fleet size and expanding into Eccles, Lime can continue to provide affordable transport alternatives to even more people that share our streets.’

In related news:

‘Tap and take-off’ charging for electric aircraft

Bookable loading bays for EVs in London 

FedEx e-cargo bikes in London


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