Dockless bikes could be making a return to Redbridge

PUBLISHED: 10:00 10 January 2020 | UPDATED: 10:16 10 January 2020

A couple look for directions as they ride Ofo bikes outside Victoria Park in east London. Picture: John Stillwell/PA Images

A couple look for directions as they ride Ofo bikes outside Victoria Park in east London. Picture: John Stillwell/PA Images

PA Archive/PA Images

Dockless bikes could make a return to Redbridge if a London-wide byelaw comes into play.

London Councils, the cross-party organisation which represents the city's 32 boroughs, has suggested creating a citywide byelaw to prohibit bike operators from parking dockless bikes anywhere other than at approved spaces.

The move comes after an "inauspicious" start to dockless cycle operations across London, including Redbridge.

"Some operators took an aggressive stance, having the view that boroughs could not stop their operation and placed hundreds ofdockless cycles on the public highway without borough consent," the Redbridge Council report says.

"These were removed by the respective boroughs.

"In Redbridge, negotiations were held with two operators and a memorandum of understanding was signed with each.

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"However, their operational and financial performance was poor and they soon ceased trading in Redbridge and in other boroughs across London."

Redbridge Council is set to agree to the creation of a London-wide dockless bike byelaw at a meeting on January 16.

London Councils would make and promote the byelaw on boroughs' behalf to try and manage bike companies in a more effective way, but each local authority would still be responsible for enforcing the byelaw and prosecuting, where necessary.

Issues such as how many or how few parking places there will be and where they should be located would also be decided by Redbridge Council.

"By agreeing this delegation, the council will be taking action alongside boroughs across London to ensure the benefits of cycling can be enjoyed by more people, whilst managing the operation of dockless bike companies in a more coordinated and impactful way," the council report says.

The return of the bikes was raised at Redbridge Council's general purposes committee on Tuesday, January 7, where council leader, Councillor Jas Athwal, asked how it could be guaranteed that the new bikes would not "go missing" again.

Donald Chalker from the council's highways and transportation team told the meeting that Lime bikes and Uber Jump have expressed an interest in providing dockless bikes in the borough and the citywide byelaw would help manage the sharing schemes.

The drafted wording of the byelaw covers dockless bikes and e-bikes and could also apply to electric scooters, which are already operating in other European cities, London Councils said.

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