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Operators pledge more support for Westminster after bikes seized

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London’s micromobility operators are looking to work more effectively with Westminster City Council as it has begun seizing dockless bikes left blocking roads and pavements in the borough.

The council has encouraged cycling to improve the health and wellbeing of residents and to reduce carbon emissions. But it also wants dockless bike operators to take more responsibility for their infrastructure.

Westminster is seeing abandoned bikes that could create a safety risk, particularly for disabled and elderly residents.

So council officers are being instructed to remove any bikes causing dangerous obstructions, while also looking at options to charge operators for the cost of the removal.

Zag Daily spoke with Lime’s Senior Public Affairs Manager for UK and Ireland, Hal Stevenson, who said: “Lime has never deployed e-bikes in Westminster, or displayed e-bike parking here. We are committed to working with WCC, other operators and wider stakeholders to resolve these issues, and will be putting forward a cross-operator package of measures aimed at more effectively managing e-bikes that have been left in the borough.

“Lime is proud to be working with London boroughs and transport partners to help create a more sustainable, accessible capital for everyone. If you ride Lime in London, please remember to park responsibly, and never leave a bike in a way that obstructs the pavement, or makes someone else’s journey more difficult.”

The Council is engaging with operators to find a solution which improves cycling in the city.

Throughout the year the issue has grown in severity as people return to the capital following the end of Covid restrictions.

TIER’s Regional Manager for Greater London, Alex Berwin, commented: “TIER supports Westminster’s ambition to boost cycling in the borough by 2026, backed by a bold Climate Action Plan to improve air quality for residents. Shared micromobility offers an effective solution that would help achieve these aims. 

“We will collaborate with Westminster to ensure they have access to our wide range of tools, so that our vehicles are parked sensibly and local people can access sustainable transport.”

Duncan Robertson, Dott’s General Manager for UK and Ireland, commented: “We work closely with the cities we operate in to ensure our services are integrated in a responsible way, with consideration to all city residents. We are in contact with Westminster City Council on this matter.”

HumanForest does not deploy bikes in Westminster and actively moves bikes out of the borough. The operator does not show any parking options (virtual or physical) in its App Map to help discourage users from ending their trip in Westminster. If a user does decide to do so, they are charged £1.50 and the company ensures any bikes are removed within 12 hours following this.

HumanForest’s Co-Founder Caroline Seton said: “Over the last year in particular, shared e-bikes have become an important part of the transport mix for London, providing a sustainable, active travel solution. We are committed to working proactively with all London Boroughs to ensure that the service works for everyone.”  

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