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Hackney Council announces new dockless bike partnerships as London-wide byelaw edges closer

PUBLISHED: 13:37 30 September 2019 | UPDATED: 13:37 30 September 2019

Uber launched electric Jump bikes in London earlier this year. Picture: Uber

Uber launched electric Jump bikes in London earlier this year. Picture: Uber

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A new byelaw looks set to be introduced across London to stop dockless bikes being dumped on pavements.

Local government association London Councils has published its proposed laws and asked all councils to respond with their thoughts by December.

It would give councils the power to prosecute operators who fail to make sure riders park in designated areas.

The announcement comes as Hackney Council confirms it has struck deals with two firms - Beryl and Uber's Jump - to operate in the borough for two years.

It had suspended all dockless bike parking in the borough while tendering took place in July, following complaints they were blocking the pavement and making it hard for people with mobility issues to get around.

A report ahead of a town hall meeting on Wednesday states: "The council fully supports the roll out of dockless bike schemes, which allows flexibility as to where bikes can be hired from and where they can be left.

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"But this flexibility needs to be balanced with the needs of pedestrians using pavements and to ensure when they are parked, the bikes do not block pavements and make it hard for people, especially those with mobility impairments, to get around."

"Boroughs have recognised this as a London-wide issue and have worked with London Councils, the existing joint committee representing all of London's local highway authorities, to set in motion a way of better controlling where dockless bikes can be safely left."

Operators already need to adhere to TfL's code of practice and stop their bikes from blocking pavements or public spaces, but councils have little power to act when they don't.

The byelaw would introduce blanket terms for operators across the capital - replacing agreements with individual councils.

Councils would still control and manage their own schemes on the whole, including designating areas the bikes can be parked.

Hackney says it will ask the London Councils Transport and Environmental Committee (LCTEC) to consider whether enforcement should be taken against customers who dump the bikes outside of agreed spaces, as well as the operator.

Uber launched its Jump bikes in Islington earlier this year, and Beryl was trialled in Enfield after being rolled out in Bournemouth and Poole.

Ofo was the first operator to launch in Hackney back in 2017, but withdrew its bikes from London earlier this year. TfL's Santander cycle hire scheme also runs in the south of the borough.

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