Coming to Queenstown: City Hall's approved a six-month trial of Lime scooters in the Wakatipu, beginning in April


Downtown construction work means a six-month trial of Lime scooters in Queenstown could be two years away.

A year after entering into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Lime on the trial — provoking an overwhelmingly negative response on social media in the process — City Hall’s advised the United States-based e-scooter hire company to put it on the backburner.

City Hall media man Jack Barlow says it’s told the company the construction work — installation of a wastewater pipeline across the CBD and street upgrades — means starting the trial would be ‘‘challenging’’ and a delay is prudent.

The work, which is about to start, is expected to take between 18 months and two years to complete, Barlow says.

‘‘While the MOU has no specific end date, given the delays it will be necessary to go back to council and seek approval for a revised trial period.’’

Last May, Lime New Zealand public affairs manager Lauren Mentjox told Mountain Scene the trial had been delayed because of the Covid-19 lockdown, and operations would start when it was safe to do so.

Mentjox hasn’t responded to Scene’s request for comment for this story.

City Hall approved the six-month trial — initially expected to start last April — in December 2019.

Its MOU with the company set out proposed controls on the scooters’ operation, such as maximum speed and daily operating hours.