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Law change may be needed to get e-scooters into cycle lanes

Nita Blake-Persen, Reporter

A bylaw might need to be changed to allow electric scooters to travel in cycle lanes, Auckland's mayor says.

a person on a

Photo: LimeBike

Auckland councillors will not bring in speed restrictions for the hundreds of electric-scooters used around the city, despite another thousand scooters being rolled out this weekend.

Last week Auckland mayor Phil Goff requested urgent advice around how to improve e-scooter safety.

An urgent memo sent to councillors has advised them not to crackdown on the scooters, but instead roll-out an education campaign around safety.

The memo states that "reducing rental e-scooter maximum speed, reducing the number of e-scooter rentals and revoking the licenses for the pilots are not advised at this stage".

It also advises that in the first week of the launch of the Lime e-scooters, there were around 40,000 trips and 14 injury claims reported to ACC related to e-scooters.

By comparison there were 32 injury claims from non-electric scooters in Auckland and Christchurch and an additional 80 across other regions for the same period.

That number has since climbed to 66 claims for e-scooter injuries.

This Saturday there will be another 1000 e-scooters hitting the streets of Auckland when the bike-share company Onzo begins its three-month trial.

Mr Goff said e-scooters were not allowed to use cycle-ways but that needed to change.

"It makes much more sense for them to be on the cycleway than on the footpath."

Mr Goff said that could require a regulatory change, which he would be pushing for.

He also supported the idea of a speed-limit change, but said that may require the Transport Agency to change the law.

The Lime e-scooters are also available in Christchurch - the city council said it was waiting to see how the three-month trial of 400 bikes across the city went, and had no plans to introduce more trials in the meantime.

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