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Dutch council ruin 80 bike locks to illegally remove bikes

Cyclists to be reimbursed for locks after expansion work to Amsterdam bike park was brought forward

Amsterdam city council have been left to pick up a €4000 bill after 80 bicycles were illegally taken into storage and their locks destroyed when work on a much needed bike park expansion was brought forward.

A sign erected at Amsterdam Centraal Station informed cyclists that work on the bike park would be getting underway shortly and bikes parked at the station would need to be removed by June 2.

According to local Dutch broadcasters AT5, cyclists were aghast this morning when they returned to the bike park to find council workers breaking locks and loading bikes up to be taken to storage.

The sign that had previously given June 2 as the deadline for bike removal, now wore a sticker setting a new date of May 26.

The fee for collecting bikes from council custody originally stood at €10, but following public backlash and acknowledgement by the Department of Infrastructure, Traffic and Transportation that notice of nine days must be given before the removal of property, that fee has now been waived.

The council have also agreed to pay any of the 80 cyclists whose locks were broken €50 in reimbursement.

Cycle parks at Dutch train stations are notoriously crowded as around half a million people in the Netherlands cycle to their local train station each day, amounting to about 40 per cent of all train passengers.

National rail company, ProRail, predicts that the issue of overcrowded bike racks will get worse and by 2030 the nation will be 60,000 bike parking places short.

On a daily basis, Amsterdam Centraal Station is used by 250,000 people, and the work that is due to get underway on the bike park is set to add 1,000 more bike parking places for cyclists to use.

Last month the Dutch government was slammed by ProRail, who claimed that a recent investment of €220 million in national bike parking facilities was not enough to stem the growing tide of cyclists in an improving economic climate.

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