Want a fun, sustainable way to travel across the city? Bike hire operator Lime has launched an electric bike (e-bike) rental scheme in Nottingham, in partnership with Nottingham City Council. Users can pick up and return Lime e-bikes from a network of designated e-bike-hire bays across the city.

Some features of the e-bikes include:

  • Built-in front and rear lights – with rear lights that indicate when users brake
  • An electric motor to help riders climb hills and restart their ride when stopped/stationary at traffic lights or zebra crossings
  • A phone holder, allowing riders to easily navigate without having to stop and check directions
  • Built-in baskets to help people carry shopping or bags
  • A range of 64km with batteries monitored by Lime so they can be charged when they run low

How to hire a bike

You can hire e-bikes through the Lime app which is available on the Apple app store or the Google Play store. Check out our frequently asked questions for more detail.

A woman using the app to hire an e-bike

E-bike hire scheme area

The e-bikes can only be used within the Nottingham City Boundary. The scheme was launched in the city centre and surrounding areas in mid-April. The second phase included expansion into Clifton and Wilford in mid-July with expansion into the remaining areas of Nottingham City due to take place in early 2024. In total, there will be approximately 200 hire locations across the scheme area. You can  download a copy of the boundary document below here.

Lime e-bike operating areas

The scheme includes ‘Go Slow’ zones where e-bike speeds are restricted and ‘No-go’ zones where e-bikes are prohibited. The map below shows where you can ride Lime e-bikes in Nottingham city centre. You can download a copy of the map here.

Outside of the city centre there are speed and access restrictions in the following areas:

Go-slow zones:

  • Upper Path at Highfields Park

No-go zones:

  • Church (Rock) Cemetery
  • Nottingham General Cemetery
  • Nottingham War Memorial Gardens
  • The Park Estate (with the exception of Lenton Road)
E-bike parking

Lime e-bikes must be picked up and dropped off at the designated parking bays which can be found on the app. Lime e-bikes cannot be left outside these parking areas. Users who fail to park correctly will receive a fine. Users who repeatedly fail to park correctly will be banned.

Shared spaces

There are many areas in Nottingham where the space is shared by cyclists and pedestrians, including river and canal towpaths and paths in our parks and open spaces. It is important that riders behave considerately where space is shared with pedestrians and other path users. Inconsiderate behaviour can reduce the appeal of these places and is particularly intimidating for people with reduced mobility, or who have hearing or vision difficulties.

When riding in shared spaces please:

  • Be courteous and patient with pedestrians and other path users
  • Slow down in areas where space is limited or pedestrians are present
  • Take extra care in places where you cannot see clearly ahead, such as junctions, bends or blind spots
  • Use the e-bike’s bell to make people aware of your presence, but be aware that people might not see or hear you as many people are hard of hearing or visually impaired

The Canal and River Trust is the charity which looks after waterways in England and Wales. Pedestrians have priority on towpaths, so cyclists need to be ready to slow down. Please abide by the towpath code to ‘Share the space, Drop your pace, It’s a special place’.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a bike hire scheme?

A scheme that provides bicycles for multiple users.

What are the benefits of a bike hire scheme?

Bike hire schemes have lots of travel and environmental benefits which include:

  • Removing the barrier of bicycle ownership
  • Removing the threat of bike theft, which can deter people from cycling
  • Improving connectivity between residential areas and key destinations
  • Improving people’s travel choices
  • Providing an affordable travel option
  • Forming part of a public transport journey by connecting people to bus and train services
  • Helping to reduce congestion and air pollution in Nottingham
  • Reducing Carbon emissions and aligning with Nottingham’s commitment to become the first carbon neutral city in the country (CN2028)
What is an e-bike?

An electric bike, or e-bike, is the same as a normal bike except it has an electric motor which gives you a boost, making it easier to travel up hills.

Why are all the bikes electric?

We want Nottingham’s bike hire scheme to be accessible to as many people as possible. E-bikes are more attractive to people who have lower cycling confidence or experience, people with limited physical strength, people with a disability or mobility impairments and people new to cycling. Usage data from schemes in other places shows that e-bikes are more popular than pedal bikes.

How do I use an e-bike?
  1. Download the Lime app from the Apple app store or the Google Play store.
  2. Open the app and search for nearby e-bikes.
  3. Scan the QR code on the e-bike to unlock it.
  4. Put on your helmet.
  5. Enjoy your ride, follow local regulations, use cycle lanes where available, and do not ride on the pavement (unless it is a shared space indicated by the sign below).
  6. Reach your destination and ‘end ride’ in the app. Park correctly and make sure the e-bike is not causing an obstruction.

How much do e-bikes cost to use?

Lime charges a fixed rate (£1.00) to unlock an e-bike and then 19p per minute to ride. Average journeys cost between £3.50 and £4.50.

If you would like to use the e-bikes for longer journeys, Lime offers the below ride passes:

  • 60 minute pass – £4.99
  • 120 minute pass – £9.99
  • 240 minute pass – £18.99

Lime also offers a 50% discount on all e-bike rides to students, keyworkers and jobseekers via Lime Access (see below).

What is Lime Access?

Lime Access offers a 50% discount on all e-bike rides for those who qualify. You qualify for Lime Access if you can show evidence you hold one of the following passes:

  • Jobcentre Plus Travel Card
  • Blue Light Card (for emergency service workers)
  • Student Card (NUS student card or institution-specific)
  • Other free or discounted travel cards for Nottingham
  • Disabled Persons Freedom Pass
  • Other eligible key worker IDs and passes (including central and local government jobs and emergency service workers)
Do I need to wear a helmet when riding an e-bike?

No, you do not need to wear a helmet. There is no law in the UK that requires cyclists to wear a helmet, although they are recommended within The Highway Code (see Rule 59). Similarly, while Lime doesn’t require you to wear a helmet when riding their e-bikes, they do highly encourage it and are providing users with helmets.

How many e-bikes are there?

At launch, there will be 350 e-bikes across the city. As the scheme expands across Nottingham this number will grow until there are 700 e-bikes in the fleet for users to ride.

How old do you have to be to hire an e-bike?

Users must be 18 years and over.

Can I ride a Lime e-bike outside Nottingham?

No, Lime e-bikes cannot be used outside the Nottingham City boundary. Users who take e-bikes outside this area will receive a fine of £5.

During the development of the scheme Nottinghamshire County Council were approached to include the Nottingham suburbs lying within the County in the e-bike hire scheme, but decided against being part of it.

How fast do the e-bikes go?

The Gen4 e-bike motor stops providing assistance once the e-bike reaches 15.5 mph. In ‘Go-Slow’ zones e-bike speeds are restricted to 8mph. In ‘No-go’ zones the e-bike motor provides no assistance.

How do I report any issues?

Lime offers a 24/7 multilingual customer service network. Users and non-users can report issues via the Lime mobile app on Apple or Android. Alternatively, issues can be reported by:

When reporting an issue please provide an accurate location along with a description of the issue and, if possible, the 6-digit reference of the e-bike which will allow the team to locate and identify it. Providing a photo (depending on which channel you are using) also helps to ensure the operations team can resolve the issue as quickly as possible.

For example:

  • Location: Hucknall Road (close to Hucknall Road / Hill Crest Grove junction)
  • Issue: e-bike outside bay obstructing the pavement
  • Bike reference: xxx KYG
How do I report someone riding a Lime bike on the pavement?

Users should not ride on pavements unless it is a shared space where cycling is allowed (usually indicated by the sign below).

Instances of pavement riding can be reported to Lime who will look to identify the user so that appropriate action can be taken. Users found to be repeatedly riding on the pavement will be permanently banned.

Each e-bike has a number plate with an individual reference to help identify e-bikes and users. Please make a note of the number plate, along with the time and location of the incident.

Instances of pavement riding can be reported via the Lime mobile app or via one of the following methods:

How do the e-bikes get charged?

The e-bike batteries are monitored by Lime. When an e-bike battery is low on charge it will go out of service and a task will be raised to swap the battery for one which is fully charged. Lime’s street team will carry out battery swaps in e-cargo bikes and e-vans.

How do I end a bike ride?

Once you are done riding, you must end your ride via the app and receive confirmation. Make sure you have a good mobile network connection when ending your ride. If you have any issues ending your ride, please use the in-app help or reach out to customer service after closing and relaunching the app.

The app may not permit you to end your ride if the e-bike is in a prohibited area. You may get a fine if you or your guests abandon e-bikes in these areas.

For your safety and the safety of others, please make sure you park in designated parking spots out of the way of pedestrians and other vehicles. Refer to the in-app guidance for parking rules specific to e-bikes.

How much money has the council spent on this scheme?

The new e-bike hire scheme has not been funded by Nottingham City Council. The scheme has been delivered using private funding from the operator, Lime, supplemented with funding from the Transforming Cities Fund, which was awarded to the council by central Government to make public transport, walking and cycling improvements in Nottingham.


You can find more FAQs on the Lime Website.