London needs another 10,000 parking spaces for shared e-bikes – Report

Commissioned by shared micromobility giants, Lime, transport consultancy Steer have published a report into the impact of bike rental schemes across London.

The report analyses Lime e-bike service data from January 2019 to March 2023 and rider survey information to determine to what extent Lime’s e-bikes contributed to the four themes of:  Accessibility, Connectivity, Active Travel and Modal Shift.

The report reveals the growth of Lime’s service in London, with more than 1.25 million riders having taken more than 12 million e-bike trips between the above dates. In this time Lime usage has increased by an average of 10% each month.

Responding to factors that prevented wider use of shared bike scheme, the report presents recommendations for future policy makers.

It suggests that TfL and local Councils should work with operators to introduce a London-wide shared e-bike service with a standardised service area, user parking and riding rules and ensuring that users should be required to leave their bikes at designated parking locations. Such measures would encourage a quarter of all users of the scheme to user it more.

However, as half of all users would not walk two minutes to pick up or drop off a bike at a designated location, it is suggested that there should be 25 parking locations per sq. km, meaning that 10,000 new parking locations would be needed across London, with operators’ trip data used to identify the best locations. 

Such an expansion of the infrastructure would cost around £20m and the report suggests that rental operators should contribute to the cost of implementation.

22% of current shared e-bike scheme users also say that information regarding where to park the bikes is confusing, to which Steer suggest that, in the short term, operators should introduce location specific in-app features which alert users when they cross a borough boundary or enter an area with different parking rules.

Matthew Clark, Steer Group Associate Director said: ‘This report quantifies for the first time the popularity of Lime shared e-bikes in London and highlights how e-bikes support improving accessibility and connectivity and increasing active travel and modal shift. The report also highlights recommendations to support the growth in cycling considering both the needs of riders and pedestrians, particularly those with access issues.

‘With close partnership working between operators, Transport for London, London Councils and London borough the strong demand for shared e-bikes can be unlocked. Together this will support a world-class sustainable transport system for all Londoners and visitors through the combination of active travel and public transport, where the need to use a private car is much reduced.’  


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