Council working hard to address dockless bike teething problems

MEDIA RELEASE

Waverley Mayor, John Wakefield is determined to find a solution to the teething problems that new bike share operators are facing in the area.

Currently, there are two companies Reddy Go and oBike operating in the area with ofo commencing operations next week, delivering a further 200 bikes.

In May and June 2017, Waverley Council exhibited its draft Waverley’s People, Movement and Places transport vision which received around 200 responses from individuals and organisations. One of the signature projects proposed included a bike share scheme which received very strong support from the public as a concept.

Council too is supportive of the bike share initiatives as they provide greater travel choice, reduce the use of private motor vehicles and consequently reduce traffic congestion which are positive steps to helping the environment. Since they commenced operations in the Waverley LGA approximately 6000 people have used the bikes with 11 complaints made to Council.

“Council has limited control over these operators, and legislation doesn’t exist which requires them to seek approval to operate in an area. However, we are actively working with the operators to achieve better outcomes. Clearly there are some aspects of their operations that need to be significantly improved.

“I am determined to find a solution and Council staff are working with the operators and other Councils to create the best possible conditions for bike share to work in Waverley and surrounding neighbourhoods.

“Already we have spent significant time meeting with other Councils who are facing similar issues and we are working with them to strategise how to best deal with this issue. We also call on the state government to step in and assist with coordination.

“While the operators don’t need planning approval, we have strongly encouraged them to control where their bikes end up including flooding any particular area. We want them to continue to educate their users about where to appropriately secure their bikes when their hire is finished. We don’t want bikes to be blocking footpaths and being a general nuisance and public concern.” Mayor Wakefield said.

There has also been a spate of deliberate acts of vandalism, either damaging the bikes, knocking them over, placing them in inappropriate places, breaking eggs on seats or slashing them and throwing away helmets.

These deliberate acts of vandalism are not necessarily committed by users of the bike hire schemes themselves.

“The message is simple. Waverley Council does not condone any such acts which wilfully damage property, vandalism or theft. Furthermore, when someone deliberately pushes bikes over this may result in a trip hazard to others. This behaviour is not only illegal, but dangerous.

“Council has contacted dockless bike operators and local police to ensure that any such behaviour is reported and legal ramifications may result.

“We need to get the balance right. It is our intention to create the best possible conditions for bike share to work in Waverley in a way that is safe and respects the rights of users and the community.” Mayor Wakefield said.