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Edinburgh scraps virtual bike docking system

Bike Hire

27 September 2019

Edinburgh's pioneering of a hybrid locking system for hire bikes appears to have been to no avail, with the city’s virtual docking stations now facing closure following damage to bicycles.

Transport for Edinburgh and operator Serco launched the city’s bike hire scheme in summer 2018. It was the UK’s first scheme where users could leave and find bikes at geofenced virtual stations and at stations with physical infrastructure. Virtual stations were expected to outnumber physical ones.

However, all of the existing virtual stations will be closed following damage to about 100 of the scheme’s 500 bikes. Some of the damage was caused by wind toppling bikes, but vandalism was the main problem.

Councillor Lesley Macinnes, Edinburgh’s transport and environment convener, told LTT: “To purposefully damage bikes meant for the use and enjoyment of the public is unacceptable. 

“Edinburgh cycle hire bikes are meant for people to explore the city, helping them to benefit from this healthy, sustainable mode of transport, so this kind of behaviour is extremely disappointing.”

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