Lime – the world’s largest shared electric vehicle company – has today announced the establishment of an Irish Disability Advisory Board ahead of its expected rollout of e-scooter and e-bike sharing services in Irish towns and cities next year.
The Irish Wheelchair Association and the National Council for the Blind of Ireland (NCBI) will be founding members of the board, which will also be supported by local cycling organisations. The group is being established to help ensure that Lime’s for-hire e-scooter and e-bike services are designed in a safe and responsible way, without negatively impacting local residents or visitors with disabilities or access needs. Lime welcomes further applications from relevant organisations to the Board.
John Fulham, Public Engagement Manager for the Irish Wheelchair Association said, “Irish Wheelchair Association welcomes the opportunity to be involved in Lime’s Irish Disability Advisory Board, where we can offer our advice and represent the voice of people with disabilities as the country prepares for the official introduction of e-scooters in Ireland. It is important that the voice of disabled people is heard and represented in the discussions from as early a stage as is possible.”
Lorna Fitzpatrick, Advocacy and Engagement Manager at NCBI said, “NCBI is happy to participate in Lime’s Irish Disability Advisory Board to share our views that are reflective of the experiences of people who are blind or vision impaired across the country. It is of paramount importance that the experiences of people living with sight loss and all people with access and mobility requirements are heard and considered as Lime prepares to create a presence in Ireland.”
Hal Stevenson, Lime Senior Public Affairs Manager for Lime in Ireland said, “Safety and inclusivity are central to Lime’s services, wherever we operate, so we’re really proud to be setting up our Irish Disability Advisory Board ahead of the launch of our services here next year. Each organisation provides a different perspective, and their insights and opinions will help us to design and deliver services that can have a positive impact across all communities.”
The Board’s first meeting will take place in July and will meet on a quarterly basis thereafter. Minutes and actions will be recorded during each meeting and shared with Lime’s partner local authorities to ensure full transparency and accountability. The group will be consulted ahead of Lime implementing any new products or service changes in Ireland. Lime will also provide opportunities for the Board to collaborate with its pre-existing Northern European Disability Advisory Board.
Following recent delays to e-scooter legislation in Ireland, Lime is expecting to launch services here in 2023. Commenting on delays to the Government’s legislation to regulate e-scooters, Stevenson added, “the delays to legislation are unfortunate and prevent safer and more sustainable use of e-scooters in Ireland. Lime is using this additional time to work with the policy makers to ensure that when regulations are passed they are progressive and proportionate, helping to create a future of transport in Ireland that is shared, green and affordable.”