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‘Dockless chaos’ criticised in Evening Standard campaign

Deniz Huseyin
08 February 2024

 

Thousands of dockless rental electric bikes are being “strewn” across the streets of the capital, causing a nuisance for many and a serious hazard to visually impaired people, according to an Evening Standard report.

Sarah Gayton of the National Federation of the Blind estimates there the number of electric hire bikes in London has risen to 30,000 over the past five years. “There have always been obstructions on the streets, but this is on a scale that’s never been seen before,” she told the Standard.

Westminster Hub, a group which gives legal help to residents in the central London borough, are planning to start legal action against Lime, the capital’s biggest e-bike company, arguing that agreements made on parking are not being not kept up by the company, reported the Standard.

Will Norman, London’s walking and cycling commissioner, said that e-bikes were causing problems for buggy and wheelchair users, but told the Standard there is little the Mayor’s office can legally do. “This is a really good example where technology is advanced, and legislation is lagging behind,” he said. “Cities lack the legal powers to regulate... we have been asking Government for ages, ever since the dockless bikes arrived. But there’s no legal power for us to be able to say, ‘Right, here’s a contract — if you don’t adhere to it, these are the penalties’.”

A Lime spokesperson told LTT: “We understand the importance of preventing pavement obstructions in London, particularly for those with access needs and have worked hard to improve user parking over the last 12 months using enhanced rider enforcement and education measures, such as GPS technology, mandatory end trip photos and escalating warnings and fines.

“We have also increased the size of our out-of-warehouse team to respond faster to reports of obstructive vehicles. We now have a 250 person out-of-warehouse team, which includes cyclists, drivers and foot patrollers, who are all responsible for managing our fleet in London.

“Lime is committed to partnering with local authorities to continue to improve user parking in the short term whilst we work to deliver the long term solution of dedicated parking bays across London.”

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