Put up more bike stands instead of impounding cycles
LCC Press Release - 29th November 2004
Bike owners will find their bikes disappearing from streets and the locks destroyed without compensation if a new bill sponsored by London Boroughs and Transport for London gets through parliament.
And it will be council employees, not thieves, removing the bikes. The London Boroughs, led by the City of Westminster, together with Transport for London are sponsoring a bill (the London Local Authority and Transport for London Bill) under which councils will be allowed to impound pedal cycles that are neither an obstruction nor a hazard.
Councils will be able to remove any cycles in the vicinity of posted notices where, in their opinion, bikes are a 'nuisance' or offend against 'good management of the highway'. Bike owners whose bikes are taken may think their bikes have been stolen and not claim them back.
Tom Bodganowicz, Campaigns Manager at LCC, says:
"We don't have nearly enough bicycle parking stands in London - to allow Councils to remove bikes that aren't abandoned or causing any obstruction without adequate warning is rediculous. Council officials will have free licence to destroy cycle locks costing up to £100."
"It will mean distress for those whose bikes are taken; it will discourage people who want to cycle; and it will only lead to an increase in traffic congestion and pollution. Instead of measures that can only waste time and money on all sides, what we need is for Councils and TfL to focus urgently on providing adequate cycle parking".
Cycling has soared in London in recent years (up 23% in Spring 2004 according to TfL) and so has bicycle theft (up 22% in 2003/4 according to the Metropolitan Police). Many London Borough acknowledge that they do not have enough cycle parking stands. In large parts of London street railings are the only objects to which a cycle can be attached.
London Major, Ken Livingstone, has a target of a 200% increase in cycling in London. LCC warns that, by putting off cyclists, the proposed bill could undermine that target and threaten the growth in London cycling has already been achieved.
PRESS CONTACT Tom Bogdanowicz, Campaigns Manager, London Cycling Campaign.
NOTE TO EDITORS:
The London Local Authorities and Transport for Bill was deposited in Parliament on 26 Nov 2004. Removal of cycles is covered in section 35 p37. The London Cycling Campaign is the largest urban cycling campaign in the world. There are 650,000 regular cycle users in London LCC's vision is a world class cycling city. LCC works to improve cycling in London and also provides services to its members, including:
- Free third party insurance
- Access to theft insurance
- Free cycle-friendly legal advice
- Free London Cyclist magazine
- Leisure rides, social events and campaigns
- A growing network of busy and welcoming groups