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Abandoned bikes are being seized - and even charities don't want them...

The city authorities in Melbourne have been crushing oBikes, saying the company has failed to pick up bikes that are dumped in inappropriate places.

It was news to oBike, who said they had not been informed.

Lord Mayor Robert Doyle, who has previously criticised the ‘clutter’ of the dockless hire bikes, said that bikes that had been impounded were crushed.

Bicycle Network chief executive Craig Richards told the Herald Sun: “The better alternative would be for oBikes to be available for people to hire and use as a healthy transport option that reduces congestion and eases the load on our public transport systems.”

There have been problems with some of the yellow hire bikes being abused, with some found in the river Yarra, up trees and even one placed on top of a car.

“It seems the damage is being done by a small group of vandals, rather than people who actually use the bikes,” Mr Richards said.

“If there’s one thing we need to do it’s put in more bike parking around the city for everyone to use. If we could get parking a few metres from every doorstep in the CBD it would encourage people to ride wherever they need to go and create more space for public bikes.”

The council has impounded 30 oBikes “that were cluttering footpaths and obstructing pedestrians”.

These were held for seven days before being sent to a recycling facility to be turned into scrap metal.

Some users have questioned whether the council could donate the impounded bikes to charity, but it’s not clear how possible that would be in legal and practical terms.

Mike King, who runs a bike recycling firm Back2Bikes, said: “They look like very cheap bikes, and generally cheap bikes are not much use for us,” Mr King said.

“I would need to have a closer look to make a call on how useful they would be.”

Council spokesman said Brodie Bott said: “The City of Melbourne has a policy of encouraging cycling, and of supporting bike sharing. We will keep working for a city in which both walking and cycling are safe and enjoyable.

“We have made it clear to oBike that we need to protect the amenity and safety of the city while balancing the ongoing need to encourage cycling.

“The City of Melbourne has been working with oBike and two other councils on a Memorandum of Understanding. As part of these discussions we have informed oBike that too much clutter can cause a hazard and that in these instances we will remove the hazard to maintain public access and amenity.

“oBike failed to collect them within this timeframe and pay the $50 per bike collection fee. oBike are aware we have been impounding bikes and the consequences of these not being collected.

“When we remove oBikes, City of Melbourne does not become the owner so we cannot give the oBikes to a third party, such as a charity.

“However, we will provide oBike with the names and contact details of charities that have expressed an interest in damaged or uncollected oBikes. We encourage oBike to get in touch with them,” he said.

 

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.

7 comments

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dodgy [235 posts] 3 months ago
2 likes

Miss the 1970s? Go to Australia (never been, but pure perception, rarely ever hear a positive story to do with either cycling, or modern values for that matter).

 

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lork [15 posts] 3 months ago
1 like
dodgy wrote:

Miss the 1970s? Go to Australia (never been, but pure perception, rarely ever hear a positive story to do with either cycling, or modern values for that matter).

 

 

"never been, but pure perception"

 

you must be some kind of genius then. 

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A V Lowe [619 posts] 3 months ago
2 likes

O-bikes appear to have the same attitude as UBER in failing to deliver the duty of care that a responsible company balances with the imperative of profit. This is the reason that taxis, buses, goods vehicles etc are licensed by a regulator and we have for both personal hired transport (Private Hire Cars, Pedicabs, Bike Share schemes &c)  a massive void in the framework for regulation - TfL to their credit has rapidly produced guidance for London Boroughs on creating Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) and potnetially licences/concessions/contracts with those providing dockless bike schemes to set Key Performance Indicators (KPI) and remedies for their relationship with any operator placing bikes in a Borough.

In Scotland we are fortunate in having greater clarity in the roads legislation and Section 97 of the Roads Scotland Act provides for the licensing of commercial activity on the main roads network. London's devolved status might also provide the window to introduce similar conditions for all bike hire - and they might also consider regulation of sub 3.6T vans as well.

Of cours the further option is to follow the lead of General Booth and the Salvation Army (Why should the Devil have all the best tunes?) and set up a borough-controlled bike scheme in partnership with (a) responsible supplier(s), and do likewise with a passenger finding app for their local Private Hire Car Operators.  Note here that In Wolverhampton the locally run equivalent of UBER  has a far greater driver buy-in and UBER is a relatively insignificant player. It can happen elsewhere too

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DrG82 [215 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes

Although scrapping them is a bit extreme I can understand people being frustrated by abandoned hire bikes, there was an abandoned Mo bike near my friends place in Manchester for about 5 days and it probably stayed there for a while after I went home. I considered using it to go to town the one day but the gear ratios are so crap you can't really get up much speed and by the time I'd read the instructions on how to hire the thing the bus turned up.

Avatar
dodgy [235 posts] 3 months ago
1 like
lork wrote:
dodgy wrote:

Miss the 1970s? Go to Australia (never been, but pure perception, rarely ever hear a positive story to do with either cycling, or modern values for that matter).

 

 

"never been, but pure perception"

 

you must be some kind of genius then. 

You need to be a genius now to have a perception of something?

Have you ever been to the north pole? If not, what's your perception of it?

I indicated it was my perception just to make it completely clear that Australia has an image problem. That's the entire point.

I could have just pretended I'd been, of course, to keep you happy.

Jebus./

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antigee [454 posts] 3 months ago
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time for a bit of tell and show - my experience is that Melbourne's pavements are regularly blocked by construction work and asssociated vehicles, motorbikes can be parked anywhere - only a couple of months into oBikes and rather than work out how to make it work just scrapping them because nobody likes a bicycle is the easy answer..... but takes 6months to move a truck abandoned on a very well used cycle lane:

Quote:

"The vehicle, which was missing a front numberplate, was hanging over into the left traffic lane, causing a risk to traffic and making cyclists swerve around.

One shop owner told the Herald Sun the unmarked Isuzu was left more than a month before council issued a tow-away ticket on September 21, giving 60 days’ notice.

“I get stuff in the mail to tell me to vote for them in the election. Why don’t they move this truck and then I’ll vote,’’ she said.

Bicycle Network chief executive Craig Richards said that if the truck was blocking a traffic lane, it would have been towed away a long time ago.

“It’s ridiculous that an abandoned truck has been left to languish in a peak hour bike lane — putting the lives of bike riders at risk.

“This is a busy, central bike route and the truck is a dangerous hazard forcing bike riders to swerve out in to the traffic lane.”

Under local government regulations, the street is not a tow-away zone, such as King St, so any vehicle is given 60 days to be removed.

Mr Cutter said the bike lane was not a tow-away clearway."  

 .......... etc etc etc 

source below but probably behind paywall - credit for above quote  goes to:

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/abandoned-truck-on-exhibition-...

or possibly google      abandoned-truck-on-exhibition        to read the detail  if hit a paywall 

 

 

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velo-nh [135 posts] 3 months ago
1 like

"$50 per bike collection fee"

I think I see the problem.