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Lime invests another £6 million in London’s e-bike infrastructure

Lime e-bike (Lime)
Lime e-bike (Lime)

E-bike operator Lime has unveiled an extra £6.3 million for London bike hire infrastructure, taking its investment in the capital in 2022 to £26 million.

The funding has helped the firm launch its fourth-generation e-bike and expand its physical footprint to include the boroughs of Hackney and Hammersmith and Fulham. According to Lime, use of its e-bikes grew 117% in the first six months of the year.

Lime CEO Wayne Ting told the Standard: “As people get out of the pandemic they’re looking for new ways to move.

“London has been a leader in thinking through transformative transportation policy — I don’t know of another major city that is implementing something of that scale.

“This year is shaping up to be the best year ever. We’ve now got the biggest warehouse of any micro mobility firm in London and we’re on a path getting to long-term profitability.”

E-bike companies such as Lime have come under fire in recent months amid accusations its hire cycles were creating an “obstacle course” for residents, as they do not require the user to return the cycle to a dock at the end of the rental, meaning they are left wherever the user ends their journey.

In August, Westminster Council began seizing dockless hire bikes which are left blocking pavements and roads, with one Westminster councillor describing the problem of discarded bikes as “potentially dangerous, especially for those with disabilities”.

However, Ting said the issue of pavements being crowded with bikes was down to a lack of cycle infrastructure provision in the capital.

“We can always do a better job to ensure our bikes don’t block the streets – but we don’t have enough spaces in the city to park our bikes on the street,” he said.

“People complain to me on social media that an e-bike is blocking their street, but right behind that bike is hundreds of cars taking up a lot more space.

“Why don’t we take a tenth of the 6.8 million car parking spots and give them over to bike parking instead.”