Merton Council Calls For Action On Dockless Bikes

Councillors want to create their own by-laws to regulate local cycle schemes

Dockless Bikes

Dockless bikes which you can rent, usually through an app, are popping up all around London.

But now calls have been made for new laws to tackle the “inconsiderate and dangerous” parking of the bikes.

At a Merton Council meeting on September 18, councillors backed plans for the making of Greater London dockless vehicle hire by-laws.

There are a number of providers including Mobike in Central London and Lime which already operates in Croydon and is looking to launch in Merton.

The bosses behind the red Jump bikes run by Uber have already contacted Merton to expand the scheme to the borough.

But at the meeting, Councillor Martin Whelton cabinet member for transport said: “Currently the operation of dockless cycle schemes is essentially unregulated and has become increasingly difficult to manage operators. 

“In recent years a number of dockless schemes have been adopted with varying results. Although boroughs are supportive of the idea, and I note the potential for the modal shift towards cycling, it quickly became clear that boroughs had no regulatory means of regulating the schemes effectively.

“Given previous issues with inconsiderate and obstructive parking it is likely that an ongoing need to manage the schemes will continue and boroughs will require legal power to effectively manage the schemes.”

Merton Council will now seek permission from City Hall to create its own by-laws.

Councillor Whelton added that it would ensure that all bikes are chipped so they can be tracked.

And would also make it an offence for operators to place or allow their bikes to be parked anywhere other than a location agreed by the local authority. 

It would be down to councils to decide where the bikes can and can’t be parked and there would be a penalty for operators who do not comply.

By Tara O'Connor, Local Democracy Reporter

September 25, 2019