Car 20mph speed limit could make cities safer, says Lime scooter boss

A woman on a Lime bike (file picture)  (PA Wire)
A woman on a Lime bike (file picture) (PA Wire)

Speed limits in cities should be cut to 20mph to protect e-scooter riders, the boss of a rental company has suggested.

Wayne Ting, the chief executive of Lime, said that “slowing down” cars had been proven to “improve safety”.

Lime is the world’s largest e-scooter and e-bike hire firm, with a significant presence in London.

A total of 12 fatalities involving e-scooters and 1,349 occurred in the year up to June 2022, according to Government statistics.

Analysis by the Department for Transport (DfT) has found that scooter users are approximately three times more likely to get hurt compared to cyclists.

Speaking to the Telegraph, Mr Ting suggested that e-scooters were not an unsafe mode of transport but that speed restrictions on cars would help.

“We know how to make riders safer and it is not by blaming modes of transport that are not creating serious accidents.

“We know how to improve safety, you slow down cars… in London, where they slowed the average car to 20 [miles per hour] they saw accidents go down.”

“One accident is too many,” he said, “but some people say we should ban scooters or e-bikes - imagine if a person gets hit by a car and people say we should ban walking?”

A 2009 study conducted for Transport for London, carried out by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, found that road casualties fell by 40 per cent when speeds were cut to 20mph.

E-scooters can be rented through operators’ mobile apps.

According to the Department for Transport, it is illegal to use privately-owned e-scooters on pavements, footpaths, cycle tracks and cycle lanes on roads. Riders must have a driving licence.

To be used on public roads and in public spaces lawfully, they must conform to a number of requirements, including being insured, taxed, and used with relevant safety equipment and other conditions.

Earlier this month, a 14-year-old boy admitted to causing the death of a grandmother while driving an electric scooter.

Pedestrian Linda Davis, 71, was injured when she was hit by the teenager on a privately-owned e-scooter on the pavement in Southwell Road East, Rainworth, Nottinghamshire, on June 2 last year.