E-scooters could soon be used to travel to and from Salford Royal Hospital.
A trial of the Lime scooters which have been rolled out across Salford over the last year is set to be extended by another six months with new routes planned.
The trial zone, which launched at the University of Salford’s Peel Park and Frederick Road campuses in October, now covers Ordsall and MediaCityUK.
And by the end of August, it could include routes linking to Salford Royal.
Hal Stevenson, UK Public Affairs Manager, said Lime is working with Salford council and Transport for Greater Manchester to further expand the service.
He said: “As part of this expansion we will be providing access routes to Salford Royal, allowing local NHS workers to make the most of our ongoing Lime Aid initiative, which has already delivered almost 2,000 free rides for key workers in Salford to date.”
In total, 80,000 individual trips have been taken by 30,000 unique riders covering 100,000 miles, most of which are near Manchester city centre.
According to Salford council, the majority of trips are between Middlewood Locks, the University of Salford campuses, Chapel Street and the city centre.
On average, there are three to four trips taken every day on each e-scooter.
Lime has also been offering key workers 10 free e-scooter rides a month.
Salford council’s growth and prosperity scrutiny panel was told on Monday (July 27) that there have been ‘relatively low levels of vandalism or theft’.
A few e-scooters have been taken out of the ‘geo-fenced’ trial area, but most have been retrieved by Lime which employs a team of 12 staff in Salford.
There were a few complaints from members of the public around May when the trial zone was expanded and more recently a rider was injured falling off.
But councillors on the scrutiny panel were told the speed of the e-scooters has been limited to 12mph on roads and 6mph within pedestrianised areas.
The ‘success story’ of the e-scooter trial was compared to the Mobike hire scheme which was withdrawn from the Manchester area three years ago.
The Department for Transport, which originally granted a 12-month trial period, has invited local authorities to extend their trials to March 31, 2022.
Salford councillor Mike McCusker, who is the lead member for planning and sustainable development, is expected to formally agree to the extension of the trail period at the next property and regeneration briefing on August 17.
The local authority is also working with Lime and Salford Royal on expanding the trial area to link up with the hospital, creating routes from the current zone.
Coun McCusker said: “We hope the extension will be in place by the end of August to give staff and visitors a convenient, enjoyable, and efficient way of reaching the hospital.”
E-scooters are classed as a motor vehicle and are currently illegal to use with the exception of those taking part in trials associated with a local authority.
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