London borough reveals plan to stop e-bikes being dumped willy nilly

  • london
  • June 24, 2024
  • Comments Off on London borough reveals plan to stop e-bikes being dumped willy nilly
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Published Jun 24, 2024, 4:06pm|Updated Jun 24, 2024, 4:12pm

Wandsworth council has become the first to ban e-bike riders from parking their vehicles in the middle of the street.

The south London borough will enforce the ban once it has finished installing 111 parking bays across the area, including town centres such as Clapham Junction, Tooting Broadway, Tooting Bec, Wandsworth, Balham and Putney town.

The scheme aims to end inconsiderate parking throughout the borough, which blocks pavements and has made certain streets ‘impassable’ for pedestrians.

Parking bays will begin to be installed on June 20, with the council expecting work to be completed around four weeks later.

Wandsworth council said e-bike parking will be banned on pavements in busy town centre locations once all the bays have been installed, although responsible ‘free-floating’ parking will still be allowed in quieter parts of the borough outside of town centres.

David Tidley, head of transport strategy at the council, said the authority supports the use of e-bikes as a ‘convenient travel option’ for residents and visitors, but that they cause issues when parked inconsiderately. 

He said: ‘They’re a clean and sustainable way of getting around and help to improve local air quality. We are really pleased that there have already been more than a million journeys made by e-bike in Wandsworth.

‘But residents will know that there have been some challenges, with a small minority of riders abandoning bikes without any thought for pedestrians and local communities. These new bays will help riders to park in fixed town-centre locations and encourage considerate parking.’

E-bike operators will use in-app messaging to let riders know where the nearest parking bay is, he added.

In 2022, The National Federation of the Blind of the UK (NFBUK) complained that many visually impaired people struggled to navigate through the streets of London due to an excessive amount of e-bikes parked on the street.

A similar complaint was made to Wandsworth council at the time that the ‘dangerous and awkward’ placement of e-bikes in the street had made the borough’s town centre’s ‘impassable’ on the weekend.

Alex Berwin, head of policy at Forest, has said the company is ‘thrilled to be formally partnering with Wandsworth Council’ for the scheme.

‘This agreement will allow for the borough’s residents, commuters and visitors to continue accessing our sustainable and affordable e-bike service, as well as provide safe and convenient spaces for e-bikes in the borough’s high-footfall locations,’ he added.

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