Responding to the news that Ofo, the Chinese bikeshare company, are pulling out of London, Daniel Zeichner has criticised the Government’s “static approach“ to dockless bikes. Ofo, famed for its yellow dockless bikes around the country, are stopping operations in London, and are reportedly dissolving their international division incuding the UK operation.
Daniel Zeichner MP has responded to Ofo’s decision, after similar reports regarding Mobike (another bikeshare company) also suggesting financial trouble, and has called for the Government to produce a “regulatory framework” to “make these dockless schemes sustainable”. He warns “if Ofo are pulling out of London, a very profitable market, it seems likely that they’ll make the same decision about Cambridge too and stop services here before long.“
Mr Zeichner says “The Government have dropped the ball regarding dockless bikes, which is a real shame as they claim to support innovative transport solutions. It’s not sustainable to have the bikes available for use one day, and not the next as the companies can just pull out or change their model at will. I have repeatedly called for proper regulation, and with other members of the All-Party Cycling Group met with Transport Minister Jesse Norman to discuss regulation, and I am disappointed that he decided not to act.”
“The original calls for regulation came as we must ensure that councils are not left to clear up bikes which are left in dangerous places, in the way of wheelchair users or pushchairs, or even on rail tracks! Now we also need to make sure that providers can’t just flood into a city, then cut and run when their profits aren’t looking as healthy – this leaves a hole in local transport provision, that these providers all claim to fill when they enter the market. This free market approach simply doesn’t work – getting people around in modern congested cities in an efficient and environmentally sustainable way needs proper planning and regulation.”