Councillor calls on e-bike hire companies to work in partnership to prevent pavement obstructions

Published: Wednesday, October 26, 2022

The council's cabinet member for transport is calling on London's e-bike hire companies to do more to ensure they do not cause pavement obstructions and create difficulties for pedestrians.

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London has seen a huge increase in the number of dockless e-bikes being used across the capital, and their use is welcomed as an affordable and sustainable form of travel.

But while the council is a keen supporter of alternative travel options that reduce the number of cars on local roads - the spread of e-bikes that do not need to be left in formal docking spaces is causing problems for pedestrians in many London boroughs.

Now Wandsworth’s lead transport spokesperson Cllr Clare Fraser is calling on the hire companies to do more to prevent their bikes causing obstructions for pedestrians – creating problems for blind and partially sighted residents, those who use wheelchairs and also parents with young children in buggies.

She said: "Several e-bike operators have deployed bikes in the borough recently. Over 100,000 journeys were made to or from Wandsworth by e-bikes between October 2021 and April 2022 and they offer an affordable, sustainable and healthy form of transport.

"Operators do not need the Council’s permission to deploy bikes locally and currently they have not sought our views. We have however asked operators to take greater control over the deployment and use of e-bikes and, when complaints are made to operators, that these are dealt with promptly. We expect e-bikes to be parked only in physically marked and agreed spaces and not to cause obstructions on pavements.

"Whilst e-bikes present a flexible way in which to assist residents to make sustainable journeys, the operators must do so in a responsible way. Our Transport Committee will shortly be considering whether the Council should enter into contracts with e-bike operators, which would set out proposed service standards, including how and where e-bikes should be parked."