A trial e-scooter scheme is set to launch in Rochdale by the end of March, using Lime, the same company operating the trial currently running in Salford.
Greenlighted by Rochdale Borough Council, working with Transport for Greater Manchester, the trial will see e-scooters placed in Rochdale town centre before expanding in phases, potentially as far out as Heywood and Littleborough. It will last up to a year, possibly extending to 18 months.
Rochdale will join the many towns and cities around the UK, including Liverpool and Chester, experimenting with micromobility.
Conor Chaplin, Transport for Greater Manchester’s Innovation Strategy Officer, said: “E-scooters have already seen huge success in other countries and we’re excited to be supporting another e-scooter trial in Greater Manchester.”
Mr Chaplin explained the scheme’s aims include a reduction in congestion, cleaner air, and improved connectivity to public transport hubs.
Users, who must have at least a provisional driving license, will pay £1 to unlock a scooter and 15p per minute – unless they are eligible for Lime’s Lime Aid policy, which provides free rides for all key workers. Further schemes provide a 50% discount for users with low income, and free rides to and from Covid vaccination appointments.
The Salford trial began in October 2020 and is also operated by Lime. It expanded into its second phase in February – connecting Salford University’s Peel Park and Frederick Road campuses to MediaCityUK – and has delivered more than 20,000 rides so far.
Lime plans to create a “Community Hub” office in Rochdale town centre, and will run safety events when the trial is launched and make training materials available online.
Alan Clarke, Lime’s Director of Policy and Government Affairs for Northern Europe, said: “We’re proud to be launching our e-scooter service in Rochdale, building on our existing presence in the Greater Manchester region and working with Rochdale Borough Council and Transport for Greater Manchester to contribute to building a more connected, sustainable Rochdale.
“Our Gen4 e-scooters are safe, socially distant and sustainable, and we know Rochdale residents are going to love them.”