Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner will propose a new law to clean up the dockless bike industry.
Currently hundreds of bikes can flood local streets when a bikeshare company sets up business in a town or city – all without any local say.
Cities including Cambridge and Norwich have seen dockless bike-share companies come and go leaving a trail of chaos. Typically a company will leave 500 bikes in a local area for anyone to use. The bikes can be unlocked using an app and then left wherever the user finishes up their journey.
Rogue companies have come under criticism for taking no responsibility for their bikes, leaving cycles vulnerable to vandalism and allowing bikes to block pavements.
Ofo bikes in Cambridge were thrown off a bridge, hung from the Princess Diana memorial and smashed with a large rock. Councils and the police have been left to pick up the pieces when are bikes are left in dangerous places including on railway tracks.
Mr Zeichner’s bill would give local councils new powers to decide which companies can operate in their areas, how long for, what they can charge and where people can leave the bikes.
Daniel Zeichner MP said:
“This Bill will is about giving power back to local communities. I love bikes but there is no place for unscrupulous dockless bikeshare operators. You can’t just waltz into a city overnight and flood areas with brightly coloured bikes and then take no responsibility. Plus you shouldn’t be able to just disappear without warning and leave commuters with no transport options.
“My Bill will legally force operators to take responsibility for their bikes. I was contacted by a resident with a visual impairment who told me that dockless bikes being left in the middle of the pavement is a real problem on her walk to work. Bikes cluttering the pavement are also a problem for parents with pushchairs and disabled people who use wheelchairs.
“By regulating these schemes sensibly, we can ensure good bike share companies work in partnership with councils and local residents. The 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.”