I am all for encouraging cycling – especially given the problem with air pollution in the borough.
Also I yield to nobody in my admiration for innovation and entrepreneurial zeal to promote choice and competition. However there is a difficulty with oBike cycle hire scheme which is that their bikes are being strewn all over the pavement.
I have written to the Council’s Director for Transport and Highways who replies:
“This is a commercial enterprise that has rolled out these bicycles across London without proper consultation with local authorities. There is no regulation that requires cyclists to only leave their bikes at designated locations (such as attached to cycle racks) so by implication the bikes can be left virtually anywhere on the highway. The only caveat is that the Highways Act prohibits placing any object on the highway where it causes an obstruction to other road users, and we have the powers to issue a fixed penalty notice or to impound the bike. There is also the factor that they are operating a business on the highway without permission.
“We have been in contact with oBike and notified them that we will take enforcement action if the bikes are not removed. They have agreed to remove the bikes they have deposited in the borough and to meet us to agree the ground rules. I believe the bikes are now being removed. I suspect they are having similar conversations with the other boroughs.”