A fresh push to introduce e-scooters on the Gold Coast is set to blocked by Council again.
Council’s Transport and Infrastructure Committee has today backed a recommendation not to support e-scooter schemes on the Gold Coast because of safety concerns.
Lime Scooters, which has been operating successfully in Brisbane, announced plans to start a three-month trial on the Gold Coast starting in December.
ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER THIS ADVERTISEMENT
The company initially wanted to operate 500 scooters on the Coast as part of the trial.
It proposed locations at Southport around the Broadwater Parklands, Griffith University and the Gold Coast University Hospital and Varsity Lakes.
But the plan has been hit on the head.
In a report to the Transport Committee, Councillors were told “until the safety and operational concerns of e-scooter hire scheme proposals can be satisfied, there is no compelling reason to support electric scooter ride share schemes in the City.”
“Endorsing e-scooter hire schemes on the Gold Coast will have risks and implications to Council in preserving footpath areas as safe and amenable public spaces for travel, leisure and for social and economic
Committee Chair, Councillor Pauline Young say the decision was unanimous.
“We need to ensure our locals and our visitors alike are safe in our city and at this stage there are several safety issues with the introduction of any electric scooters,” Councillor Young said.
“So we have a process that we need to follow and at this stage we’re not supporting them.”
Councillor Young says they would revisit the issue once more information was available.
“Most definitely, we’ll looking quite closely at what Brisbane data reveals and also what Auckland data reveals.
“We’re finding that safety is one of their biggest concerns, people not using helmets, they tend to have more than one person on the scooter.”
Lime’s Public Affairs Manager Nelson Savanh says it’s a disappointing decision, and a loss for people on the Gold Coast.
“What it means is the Gold Coast misses out on an opportunity to embrace an active and sustainable form of transport,” Mr Savanh said.
“It means that tourists miss out on the opportunity to get around to different places on the Coast and it means that congestion will only worsen if we don’t have any alternative for it.”
The matter will now go before Full Council in a couple of weeks but the recommendation is expected to be endorsed.
Lime says it will keep talking to Council until then.
“We’ll keep the lines of communication open, we want to provide them with any information that we can to satisfy any concerns the councillors might have,” Mr Savanh said
“In terms of next steps, that’s in the hands of council, but they only have to look up the highway to Brisbane (where) things are going really well with the scheme, there’s been over 1.7 million rides since November last year.”
It’s not the first time Lime has hit a brick wall with its plans to expand to the Gold Coast.
The company was forced to suspend a planned roll out last year after Council started confiscating its scooters, claiming Lime was in breach of local laws.