Mayor fine with scooters - but not in Balclutha

Lime scooter users are not allowed to go through the University of Otago campus, but a group was spotted there yesterday morning. Photo: Gerard O'Brien
Lime scooter users are not allowed to go through the University of Otago campus, but a group was spotted there yesterday morning. Photo: Gerard O'Brien
Lime e-scooters intended for Dunedin are not welcome in Balclutha, the mayor of Clutha says, as the electric vehicles continue to turn up there following their launch.

Police were called at the weekend after three scooters were found outside the same Balclutha address, but as they were not stolen, police said they would not be investigating.

Another Lime scooter was spotted in South Otago yesterday on the Lime app, in Kaitangata.

Last week one was videoed being ridden on the Balclutha bridge, and it was later seen parked in the main street of the town.

A screenshot image of the zone around the University of Otago campus where scooter users are not allowed to park. Photo: Otago Daily Times
A screenshot image of the zone around the University of Otago campus where scooter users are not allowed to park. Photo: Otago Daily Times
Clutha Mayor Bryan Cadogan said he hoped scooters appearing there did not become a trend.

Mr Cadogan said he could see it would be frustrating for the Lime company to have to come to retrieve its scooters, and he was worried it might damage the scooters' profitability and make it less likely they would eventually be introduced to towns nationwide.

''I love the concept, and I hope [people] pull their heads in and give it a chance to prove itself,'' Mr Cadogan said.

''I'd love to see this work.''

There have also been rumours online of the scooters being seen in Oamaru.

Waitaki Mayor Gary Kirchner said he wanted to see more regulations in place before he would welcome them in the town.

In Dunedin, the University of Otago now appears in red on the app as a ''no parking'' area for scooters, and people are being told that repeatedly parking there could lead to a fine or the suspension of their Lime account.

The university had asked for the area to be put in, chief operating officer Stephen Willis saying the aim was to prevent scooters becoming trip hazards and being abandoned in bulk around entrances.

The university has previously said it would treat the scooters the same way as bicycles, and would put up signs telling users they cannot ride them through the campus.

About noon yesterday, scooter-users as well as skateboarders and cyclists could be seen riding through the area.

The Dunedin Botanic Garden is also a no-go area for the scooters, but appears as a ''no service'' area rather than somewhere where scooter riders will incur fines or suspensions.

A Dunedin City Council spokeswoman said if people were seen riding their scooters through the gardens, they were asked to wheel them through instead.

''Staff say there has been a good response to that approach.''

elena.mcphee@odt.co.nz

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