Dockless bikes

Users of dockless bikes will soon be banned from using them in on certain streets and will have to park them in designated spaces, the council has said.

Under the new plans, several hundred parking bays will be created at popular destinations such as Soho, in a bid to tackle the number of misparked and dumped bikes.

Talks are ongoing with bike hire companies, who are expected to foot some of the bill for the spaces, which will see riders who fail to park their bikes properly continue to be charged by the system as if the vehicle was still being used.

Paul Dimoldenberg, Cabinet Member for City Management said during a committee meeting on Tuesday that two months would allow enough time for discussions to take place with operators and the new facilities to be installed.

He said: “We’ve managed to persuade all four bike companies now to identify a number of streets both in Soho and Covent Garden where bikes are not permitted. So that’s had some limited effect, but we do need a more Westminster-wide agreement.

“Basically what we aim do is to locate a few hundred designated parking bays in the areas where riders like to either arrive or leave from.”

Mr Dimoldenberg said that he hoped to have the system ringfencing Westminster up and running by the start of July. He added that in the meantime the council would continue to ‘get tough’ with operators.

“We’re in positive discussions with the companies, but at the same time we are continuing to get tough with them if they allow their riders to park in obstructive places.”

Bike hire schemes have become an area of frustration for some residents as a result of cycles being parked obstructively, presenting a danger to pushchairs and vulnerable road users. Under pressure from the council some operators have ramped up fines for customer after it transpired that some charged as little as £2 to those who misparked bikes.

Another Westminster councillor for West End ward, Patrick Lilley, launched an open letter calling on the Government to introduce legislation to better regulate dockless bicycles. It included a five point plan for a proposed bye law requiring trackers to be fitted on all vehicles and operators to insist that bikes be parked in designated spaces rather than in the middle of pavements or highways, with non compliant companies fined up to £500.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: