Councillors bite back at Lime Bikes email blitz

Councillors bite back at Lime Bikes email blitz

Auckland, February 24, 2019

Photo for RNZ by Nick Monro

Auckland Councillors, bombarded by emails in support of the e-scooter company Lime, say it is a tactic that other lobbyists have tried, such as in ‘The 1080 Debate.’

The Council suspended Lime’s licence on Friday until it can provide more evidence that it has fixed a dangerous software glitch.

The Council is concerned about the safety of the scooters’ brakes, with 30 people from all over New Zealand injured when wheels have randomly locked up.

Since the suspension, Lime has been using its App to encourage users to send a pre-written email of support for it to the Mayor and Councillors.

As of last (Saturday) night, almost 4000 had been sent.

Penny Hulse surprised

One Councillor, Penny Hulse, said that she was surprised by the tactic, because Councillors already appreciated there was support.

Penny Hulse RNZ Photo by Todd Niall

“I don’t think this is necessarily the right arena yet for the `Save the Ccooter’ campaign. I don’t think that is necessarily in jeopardy. It is more like, ‘Let us make scooters safe and let us prove that they can be safe.

“My gentle advice is this is possibly a little bit over the top and people do turn off and you can take some of us who might be very supportive of the issue and we’ll be a little bit grumpy by the end of the day when your inbox has got 3000 emails,” she said.

Deluge of emails

North Shore Councillor Richard Hills took to Twitter yesterday complaining his inbox had been filled with more than 2000 emails.

He said the suspension was not from lack of support, but because of the defect.

He was also concerned that important emails on other topics might be overlooked.

Another Councillor, Alf Filipaina, said not all the senders were sticking with Lime’s message. “…you’ll notice one that says `I support Lime in Auckland providing they are safe to ride’ `as long as they are regulated’ and even to the extent (one) that said `I don’t support Lime in Auckland’”

The Council has given Lime until tomorrow (Monday) to provide more information and meet certain conditions.

Decision in Christchurch

The temporary suspension of Auckland’s e-scooter trial may help decide the future of Lime scooters in Christchurch.

Councillors there will receive a report on Thursday about the city’s own Lime trial. They will then decide whether to extend the company’s licence to operate.

The report has already been written but new information from Auckland will also be discussed by Councillors.

Indian Newslink has published the above story and pictures under a Special Arrangement with www.rnz.co.nz

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