London operator Lime says the Ultra Low Emission Zone (Ulez) will not reach its full potential without city-wide regulations for shared e-bike and e-scooter services.
This comes as the Ulez has been expanded to include all of London’s boroughs.
“London is at the forefront of implementing policies to mitigate the effect of emissions on the climate, and the Mayor’s strong commitment to Ulez is a positive step in drastically minimising the environmental impact of cars in the Capital,” Lime’s General Manager Manish Kharel told Zag Daily. “It has our full backing, and will reduce congestion and emissions to help create a greener London.
“But to fully reap the benefits of Ulez and reduce car reliance, a standardised framework for e-bike parking and riding throughout London is of vital importance.”
Currently, e-bike and e-scooter parking is dictated on a borough-by-borough basis causing confusion amongst riders on which rules apply where.
“Moving to one single framework with 10,000 new parking bays will simplify the process of taking trips across boroughs, improving the likelihood of a significant shift towards alternative modes of transport as Ulez expands. Riders need to be able to end their journey in a tidy manner, but in the location they wish to travel to.”
The 10,000 parking bay figure is one of Lime’s five key recommendations outlined in its most detailed review yet of the operator’s services in London. This means around 25 parking stations are needed per km2. It is estimated that implementing this would cost up to £20 million.
Lime says it is already helping to plug some of these gaps with 40% of its e-bikes being available in areas with lower public transport accessibility.
This follows a Lime survey which found that 27% of its users would cycle more if Lime had a larger, more standardised service.
Ulez expands to outer London
With the zone now covering all of Greater London, Transport for London (TfL) is using both incentives and decentives to implement the new rules.
Drivers using non-compliant vehicles must pay a fee of £12.50 per day to drive in the zone. For motorists looking to make a switch to another mode, a £160m scrappage scheme is available for all Londoners to claim up to £2,000 per vehicle.
Ulez has covered central London since 2019 and a wider area of inner London since 2021. The positive environmental effects of London’s initial ULEZ have been well-documented. According to a City Hall report reviewed by Imperial College London, Ulez has reduced NO2 levels next to the roadside by an estimated 46% in central London and by 21% in inner London as of October 2022.
Those driving a non-compliant car in the zone must pay the £12.50 charge online or by phone up to three days after they travelled. The penalty for not paying is set at £180, which reduces to £90 if it is paid within 14 days.