Council stepping up reaction to share bikes

A review of the three month trial of bike share guidelines developed by inner Sydney councils has found that urgent state government action is required to clean up bike share.

The review has also shown that bike share operators have fallen short of the mark during the trial, with failure to collect abandoned and damaged bikes, and lost helmets, the main problems plaguing the new industry.

Inner West Mayor Darcy Byrne said that it wasn’t good enough for the State Government to wash their hands of a problem affecting large parts of Sydney.

“The State Government has so far done nothing to address the serious safety problems bike share has introduced to Sydney,” said Cr Byrne.

“The Transport Minister’s only response has been that Council rate payers should foot the bill for impounding and collecting bikes.

“He can’t get the trains to run on time, and couldn’t name a ferry, but surely acting against a few rogue bike share companies is within his capabilities.

“Impounding bikes sounds simple, but comes at a real cost for our rate payers.

“Instead of trying to fit outdated legislation or regulation to this new industry, Inner West Council is working with other inner Sydney councils and will propose changes needed at the State level to allow us to deal with this issue properly.”

Mayor Byrne said that unfortunately bike share operators hadn’t stepped enough during the trial period.

“Bikes are helping more people move around Sydney, and that’s great, but operators have got to do more to get on top of issues like vandalism, public safety and accessibility. 

“They really have to be more proactive in removing damaged or vandalised bikes.

“In the absence of action from the State Government, it looks like our councils will have to ramp up enforcement efforts to remove dangerous and badly parked bikes, but our rate payers shouldn’t have to wear those costs.”

Mayor Byrne said that Inner West Council was considering extending the guidelines into a formal service agreement, where bike share companies would be liable for Council costs if they have to remove bikes.

Inner West Council, City of Sydney, City of Canada Bay, Woollahra, Waverley and Randwick Councils came together to issue trial bike share guidelines in December 2017, with a three month trial period finishing on 22 March.

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Page last updated: 19 Nov 2018