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Last modified: 29 Jul 2020 10:36am

Selwyn has become the first New Zealand location outside a major urban centre to grant e-scooter licences.

The Council has granted an initial one year licence to e-scooter operators Lava and Lime following a successful six month trial that saw people taking around 3800 rides a month pre lockdown.

Lava and Lime will have a total of 220 scooters that will operate in Rolleston, Lincoln and Prebbleton, and on cycleways between the towns. The companies will pay an annual licence fee of $72.79 a year per scooter.

With people taking 22,677 rides on scooters by mid-July, Mayor Sam Broughton says the scooters are another sign of Selwyn as a forward-looking district that embraces new ideas.

““It’s great to see the scooters have been used by the community as an alternative to hopping in a car. I’m delighted that we now have a permanent environmentally friendly and convenient option for getting around our towns. ”

The Council granted a six month trial to the companies to operate a total of 300 scooters, starting in mid-December last year. The trial was due to end in June, but was extended to the end of July because of the Level 4 lockdown period.

For the trial to mid-July people were using the scooters at an average of over 3,800 trips a month. There were no accidents or significant injuries reported over that time.

During the trial, there was one substantiated complaint of an e-scooter left on the road. The scooter in the road was rapidly removed and the company apologised.

There were two complaints of scooters blocking footpaths and Council staff found both scooters were correctly parked. Council also received 11 complaints from people who said they did not like the scooters.

The Councillors noted that the companies had been professional and accommodating of Council requests and have endeavoured to provide a quality service for e-scooter users within the District.