Dockless semi-electric bikes are cropping up more regularly on our street – sometimes parked correctly, sometimes blocking the pavement. They are surprisingly heavy, and can be dangerous, e.g. to children, if knocked over.
Our ever-helpful ward Councillor Deepak Sardiwal tells me that some Fawnbrake Avenue residents have been in touch with their understandable concerns over the proliferation of poor bike parking in the neighbourhood. He has shared with me the response he gave them, following a discussion with the council team involved. He explains that the council ultimately intends for the dockless bikes to be placed on kerbside space allocated for this purpose, as part of its new Kerbside Strategy. (I don’t know whether they intend to make dedicated kerbside spaces on every street…). Meanwhile I thought it might be helpful if I shared this position more widely.
The statement reads: “Lambeth recognises the conflict since Dockless bikes reappeared in numbers on the streets earlier last year. Currently, we have no legal lever to control them or licence them in the borough as no such legislation exists although it is expected in the coming years. In terms of confiscating the bikes and returning a fee, we have come to a temporary arrangement with the operators requiring them to move a bike within 2 hours of it being reported if it poses a clear obstruction. Our enforcement officers will also remove a bike if it is deemed to cause a danger or threat, in this case, we would charge the operator for the costs of confiscation and storage.
“We have recently come to an agreement with all the operators and developed a memorandum of understanding (MOU). This MOU and associated agreements will address Lambeth’s concerns on footway impediment and the serious accessibility issues they cause., whilst ensuring the bikes can still be used by the public.
“Once we have allocated kerbside space for the dockless bikes all bikes [presumably they mean all dockless bikes] in the borough will be required to be parked in dockless bike bays. If a resident sees a bike parked inappropriately, blocking the footway, falling, preventing or making it difficult to walk, please report this to the Operator, quoting the location and its serial number, This can normally be found on the QR code used to book the bike.”
I am trying to find out whether there is a number within Lambeth Council where we can report dangerously parked electric bikes.