Lime launches electric-assist, dockless bikes in Milton Keynes

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Smart mobility firm Lime is introducing a fleet of electric-assist bicycles in Milton Keynes, marking the first time the on-demand electric bike and scooter company has entered the UK.

The US-based start-up is placing its dockless, electric-assist bikes, called Lime-E around the town as an “emission-free” mode of transport which can be hired via an official app.

Users scan a code on the bike to unlock them, with an initial cost of £1 to unlock followed by 15p per minute of ride time.

They are equipped with 250-watt motors and have a maximum assisted speed of just under 15 miles per hour, with the electric battery reducing the effort required to cycle.

(Kris Krüg/Lime)
(Kris Krüg/Lime)

Jaanaki Momaya, Lime UK’s general manager, said: “Lime has now launched in the UK providing Milton Keynes with an emission-free, affordable, accessible and convenient way of getting around town.

“Milton Keynes is a dynamic city at the forefront of transport innovation. We could not think of a better place to launch in the UK and we look forward to expanding into other areas shortly.”

The US start-up’s bikes and scooters already operate in dozens of US cities, but its scooters have not previously made it to the UK because of restrictions around the use of such devices on roads and pavements.

The firm has mobility fleets launched in other European cities, including Paris, Berlin and Madrid.

(Kris Krüg/Lime)
(Kris Krüg/Lime)

The trend for dockless bikes and scooters has been met with a backlash in some parts, however, with residents and local authorities in cities such as San Francisco clashing with a range of different start-ups who flooded mobility options that were labelled a nuisance.

Lime said its Milton Keynes team will comprise locally-hired staff whose local knowledge would help with the rollout of the new fleet.

The firm said it would work closely with local authorities to ensure the “fair and respectful distribution of the service” in the area.

Chris Price