Cllr Stephen Stark has been tracking abandoned Green hire bikes across Hampstead Town Ward for months. He has written about his activities in the Camden New Journal this week. The letter is reprinted below.
Are the hire cycles and scooters a good thing or bad thing? Camden Council point to over 100k rides per month in Camden so there is clearly demand but the cycles and scooters are left abandoned blocking our pavements. Camden's answer was to provide designated places where users must leave the cycles/scooters but often this is not done. In fact over 30k every month are left thrown onto and cluttering our pavements.
I have been raising the issue of the abanded cycles/scooters with Camden's officers for months and months now. Apart from being unsightly they obstruct our pavements and seriously affect those less mobile to get around them.
Constituents fed up with this have been helping me by sending me evidence of the abandoned machines which I have been sending to Camden. Initially Camden's officers said it was nothing to do with them and I and others should contact the companies. I said "no", that it was a Camden Council issue and eventually now they are taking action. Such measures includes:-
- The companies fining people who abandon the cycle/scooter on the public highway.
- Introducing an Increasing fine from £2 to £20 for repeat offenders and after a certain number of repeat offending banning them.
I have asked for the data on the number of fines issued (and number of users banned) but as yet Camden haven't released it!
- Adding abandoned bikes/scooters to the Love Camden App which will be linked to company (not yet but eagerly awaited).
- Improvements with the link and code of conduct between Camden Council and the hire companies.
It's a start but there is still much to be done including how the companies remove the offending cycle/bike and how quickly it is done.
Cllr. Stephen Stark
Hampstead Town Ward