Bylaw to hit e-scooter firms

Under a proposed bylaw, Lime could need a permit to operate in Dunedin. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
Under a new bylaw, Lime would need a permit to operate in Dunedin. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
E-scooter companies will require a permit to operate after a new bylaw governing activity in Dunedin’s streets was passed.

The Trading in Public Places Bylaw, covering various street activities, was adopted by the Dunedin City Council yesterday and will come into effect on January 1 next year.

Under the bylaw, e-scooter companies will have to obtain a permit and abide by a code of practice, to be developed further by council staff, to address concerns raised about e-scooters being parked in ways that were hazardous to pedestrians.

Buskers will have to seek permission from shop owners before they can perform outside their premises.

The promotion of smoke-free and vape-free outdoor hospitality will also become a condition of all commercial use of footpaths under the bylaw, a decision made by the council’s regulatory subcommittee following hearings on the bylaw.

This includes businesses that are permitted to use the footpaths for tables and chairs.

Council community services general manager Simon Pickford said promotion of smoke-free and vape-free dining was not enforceable, and was more about encouraging businesses to promote it.

The bylaw will give the council grounds to act on issues caused by e-scooters being left in the middle of footpaths, and the council might explore specific locations where they have to be docked when further developing a code of practice, Mr Pickford said.

All councillors voted in favour of adopting the bylaw.

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