Londoners can still chain bikes up without fear of removal

A law that may have seen thousands of bikes removed unnecessarily from railings in London has been rejected by the House of Lords.

The bill would have allowed council contractors to remove without notice bikes chained to railings even if they weren’t an obstruction or abandoned.

The London Cycling Campaign called the proposals a “lock it and lose it lottery”, arguing that the introduction of the law would have seriously undermined the growth of cycling in the capital.

LCC and cyclists are celebrating victory against legislation that could have seriously undermined the growth of cycling in the capital.

A committee of peers listened to the arguments for and against the legislation, including those from the LCC, and concluded that the relevant clauses should ‘not proceed’.

Speaking for LCC before the committee, the organisation’s counsel Ralph Smyth said: "Because of the lack of clarity as to where you could or could not park your bicycle, this aspect of the bill would have a chilling effect on people’s desire to cycle."

Peers were told powers already exist to remove bicycles that are an obstruction or which are abandoned. The rejected law could have been applied to thousands of bikes that were not attached to bike stands.

LCC’s chief executive Koy Thomson said, “After a long campaign we're delighted that committee members decided to throw out legislation that could have been a serious deterrent to cycling.

“Cycle stands in London are overflowing with bikes, even in the winter. We need more bike stands, not new laws making parking more difficult.”

Many LCC members wrote to the Mayor and to London Assembly representatives last year protesting against the proposed legislation.

The House of Lords committee also rejected legislation that would have allowed councils to set different penalties on different streets for footway cycling.

Peers said there were problems with the traffic environment in London, but that the proposed legislation would not solve them.

One peer suggested that the legislation could have allowed councils to create 16 different penalties. The UK Government, as well as LCC, opposed the proposed legislation.