News State New South Wales Dockless share bikes impounded from Sydney beaches

Dockless share bikes impounded from Sydney beaches

shared dockless bikes
Waverley Council has warned dockless bike operators their "polluting property" will be impounded. Photo: Facebook
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Dockless share bikes will be rounded up and taken to the tip if they are left dumped at Sydney’s most popular tourist beaches.

Waverley Council – covering Bondi, Bronte and Tamarama – has warned abandoned and damaged share bikes would be impounded.

Operators could also be served with a “dumped rubbish clean up order” to remove their “polluting property” from council streets, pristine parks and beaches.

In a mayoral minute unanimously passed last Tuesday, council committed to seeking legal advice on handing out clean up orders for damaged and abandoned dockless bikes.

Bikes will be deemed attended if they are “standing upright with a suitable bicycle helmet attached” so long as it is not “causing an obstruction or public safety hazard”.

share dockless bikes waverley council
The council said the dumped bikes obstructing the streets were a “public safety hazard”. Photo: Facebook

Council workers will start impounding the bikes from Monday.

“We want them to clean up their act and operate properly,” Mayor John Wakefield said on Thursday.

On Twitter, he said he supported the bike share economy, “but bike operators need to be good corporate citizens”.

“They are causing unacceptable public disruption.”

Council unanimously affirmed its “support for the share bike economy and encourages operators of docked bicycle systems to establish in Waverley, providing that they manage their operation in such a way that does not cause public disruption”.

The collection and redistribution of bikes needed to be a priority for the operator, the minutes said.

NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance on Thursday backed Waverley Council’s tough new stance. He said he hoped other councils would follow suit, but so far none have followed suit.

An alliance of six Sydney councils – including Waverley, as well as the Inner West, City of Sydney, Randwick, Woollahra and Canada Bay – last December gave operators three months to comply with tough new guidelines.

Randwick passed a motion on Tuesday calling for a public tender to licence two of the bike-sharing operators, a spokesman told AAP on Thursday.

They will have to provide suitable docking stations for bikes.

Woollahra council is sticking with the guidelines adopted last year.

“Council continues to closely monitor the effectiveness of these guidelines and if issues with dockless bikes continue or worsen then updating the guidelines will be considered,” a spokesman told AAP.

Ofo, a popular bike sharing company based in Beijing, said it wanted a collaborative approach between councils and operators.

“Ofo doesn’t shy away from proper regulation and we are already working very closely with councils,” the company told AAP on Thursday.

“We understand that the concept of bike-sharing is new. It’s on us to provide education campaigns that provide riding guidelines and codes of conduct for our customers.

“We’re doing exactly that – but changing behaviour takes time.”

Reddy Go said it was open to finding ways to stop users vandalising bikes including state government-run education campaigns and support from police, a spokeswoman said.

CP Lim, head of oBike Australia, says it was “unfortunate” a minority of users were vandalising the bikes but insisted a maintenance team is sent out at least twice a week to repair and remove any bikes that have been dumped.

Mobike has been contacted for comment.

-with AAP

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