Dunedin could have Lime e-scooters by Christmas

Lime e-scooters have been available in Auckland and Christchurch for the past month and are set to launch in Dunedin by the end of the year. Photo: NZ Herald
Lime e-scooters have been available in Auckland and Christchurch for the past month and are set to launch in Dunedin by the end of the year. Photo: NZ Herald
E-scooters could be zipping around Dunedin's streets by Christmas but not everybody is happy they are rolling into town.

Electric scooter hire company Lime has met the Dunedin City Council to discuss how the service could work.

The service is already available in Auckland and Christchurch as part of a three-month trial, and is set to be expanded to Wellington.

Council community services general manager Simon Pickford said council staff met Lime representatives about two weeks ago where it was indicated the service could begin in Dunedin.

The company intended to start about Christmas, Mr Pickford said.

While there were no rules prohibiting e-scooters in the city, an agreement on safety and how any incidents would be reported was being worked on, he said.

The situation in Auckland Christchurch was being closely monitored and issues investigated, and that would affect any public places bylaw.

No bylaw would be in place before the end of the year.

Lime did not respond to a request for comment yesterday.

E-scooters do not meet the NZ Transport Agency's definition of a motor vehicle which means they can be ridden on footpaths, shared paths, roads and separated cycle paths.

Cycle lanes which are painted on the road can be used only to allow other vehicles to pass safely and e-scooter riders are expected to transfer back to the road as soon as it is safe.

Since launching in Auckland and Christchurch, the e-scooters have been popular but complaints from pedestrians have prompted authorities to investigate legislating their use.

Nearly 150 ACC claims have been made since the service was launched in New Zealand for injuries related to e-scooters.

Dunedin Pedestrian Action Network spokeswoman Lynley Hood said it was outrageous e-scooters were allowed on footpaths and they would put pedestrians at risk.

''Pedestrians, particularly the elderly and disabled, are the most vulnerable road users and they can't get out of the way quickly when something fast comes down the footpath,'' Dr Hood said.

The network would be speaking to the council about its concerns, she said.

Lime is advertising for two operations managers - one in Dunedin and one in Queenstown.

Queenstown Lakes District Council consents manager Quinn McIntyre said there had been no contact between Lime and the council.

Anyone wanting to set up an e-scooter service would have to obtain consent in some form and there were checks and measures they would need to go through, Mr McIntyre said.

tim.miller@odt.co.nz

Comments

Being Blunt honest and it may upset a couple. If Dunedin gets these prior to Auckland and Christchurch trial's ending and a review being publicly published, All the so called high rollers within the DCC need to have bank accounts audited yep I've said it.- Why and who the hell would allow these in another place with out a review, where are the profits going to? What taxes does NZ get, what cut does the Council get? What payment does ACC get? who could possibly have shares in Lime in Dunedin? What has Lime promised Cull or the Council as a scratch my back Ill scratch yours. there said

 

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