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Will E-Scooters Become Regular Public Transport?

3 min

Image credit: Anthony Upton/PA Wire
As electric scooters begin to take over the streets of the UK’s cities, Quadrant Transport speaks to Georgia Corr, Public Policy Manager of Lime to find out more about their sustainability benefits for UK roads.

E-scooters. The world’s least expected, but arguably most innovative solution to modern sustainable transport since London’s Santander Cycle Scheme in 2010.

You can find around 18,000 short-term-hire e-scooters scattered across the UK, shared over 12 companies such as Voi, TIER and Spin. However, Lime stands out for its sustainability goals.

Established globally in 2017, Lime launched the UK’s first full-scale e-scooter trial in Milton Keynes in August 2020.

Operating in over 200 cities in 30 countries, the company have seen over almost one million e-scooter trips in the UK since its launch
Image credit: Anthony Upton/PA Wire

Speaking about the milestone Georgia Corr, Public Policy Manager for Lime Scooters, told Quadrant Transport: It shows that the UK is really embracing micro-mobility, and really thinking about travelling more sustainably now, which is fantastic.”

Now expanding to London, Salford and Rochdale, Lime currently have over 3300 scooters available to hire in the UK.

Georgia continued: “Our core purpose is ‘build cities that put people first and our scooters are really trying to ensure that we offer a sustainable, equitable and emission-free transport option.

“Our e-scooters really do help provide an alternative choice for the UK population and to get around sustainably reducing the reliance on cars, and therefore congestion.”

Lime’s e-scooters have prevented more than 60 million car trips globally, equating to more than 17,000 tons of CO2 being saved

Following their ethos of ‘Lime Green’, the company strive on reducing carbon emissions and allow people to travel more sustainably.

Lime Green sets out numerous plans to “cement sustainability at Lime’s core,” Georgia told Quadrant Smart.

She continued: “A huge one is that are we the only company in the micro ability field to set a science-based target across our entire business, which is all consistent with the Paris accord to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees.”

We have an ambitious goal to hit net zero by 2030 which really goes beyond purchasing carbon offsets.

“Truly decarbonising all aspects of the business by not only offering a sustainable transport solution, in the fact that we’re reducing people moving around in cars and making fewer co2 trips, but actually the intrinsic whole holistic business is being looked at.”

Lime have committed to sustainability across the whole of the business, including using 100% renewable power by the carbon-neutral provider, Octopus, in all warehouses and offices.

Innovation at the core of sustainability
Image credit: Anthony Upton/PA Wire

An innovative solution to recycling retired batteries is also part of the company’s sustainability commitment. Georgia told Quadrant Transport: “Towards the end of a battery cells life, we give them to Gomi, who recycle them and turn them into portable Bluetooth speakers.

“We really tried to think about it from within a circular economy and giving them a new life.

“We’re committed to the fact we are offering a stable transport solution at the heart, but really have cemented that sustainability for the whole business.”

Despite only operating in four UK cities at present, Lime is currently awaiting approval from the Department for Transport for further regulation throughout the UK.

We are hopeful that the DfT do decide to regulate and make shared E-scooters a permanent addition to the UK transportation offering.

Rounding up the interview, Georgia told Quadrant Transport: “We’ll be super excited to work in partnership with more cities to offer a new, sustainable, and equitable transport solution for flow.”