More pavement blocking hire bikes impounded

Published: Friday, May 31, 2024

Wandsworth Council has carried out another blitz to remove abandoned hire bikes blocking pavements.

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Hire bikes abandoned outside the entrance to Wandsworth Town Station

In the latest crackdown 58 hire bikes have been seized and impounded. The companies concerned have to pay a charge for their return.

Residents and businesses regularly submit complaints to the town hall about pavement obstructions caused by these electric bikes – which don’t use docking stations, so riders can leave them anywhere they please. 

This means some riders abandon them in inappropriate locations, often in the middle of pavements, causing serious obstructions for residents, shoppers and visitors to the borough.

The council recently unveiled measures designed to address this problem by creating a network of dedicated parking bays across Wandsworth for e-bikes.

Following consultation a first phase of 120 locations across the borough has been drawn up where e-bikes and scooters can be safely stored without impacting on pedestrians - with bays due to be installed this summer. Parking would then be prohibited on the pavements in these busy locations. A second phase of bays will soon follow.

The council has been working closely with the bike and scooter operators to ensure that if their customers don’t use these dedicated spaces in busy locations they will face additional charges or other sanctions on their usage.

Council Leader Simon Hogg said: “We think these electric bikes and scooters offer an important and useful travel option for people. They are clean and sustainable and will from a key part of efforts to cut carbon emissions and improve air quality.

“But we are acutely conscious too that in some cases they are abandoned very carelessly and end up blocking pavements and making life difficult for pedestrians, especially those with disabilities.

“To remedy this we have drawn up a list of dedicated spaces where they could be picked up and dropped off without causing obstructions and where there is enough parking space capacity for this to not inconvenience other road users.

“And in cases where these spaces are not being used and bikes are being carelessly dumped or abandoned we will remove them from pavements and charge the hire companies a fee for their return. We hope this will encourage these companies to take firmer action to tackle this problem.”