Council Issues Ultimatum to Lime over Carelessly Discarded Bikes

Simon Hogg tells CEO any blocking pavements will be removed on Friday

Hire bikes owned by Lime left blocking the pavement
Hire bikes owned by Lime left blocking the pavement

The leader of Wandsworth Council has issued an ultimatum to a bike hire company after a growing number of complaints about obstructed pavements.

Simon Hogg has written to the CEO of Lime Bikes, Wayne Ting, to warn him that the council will begin impounding his company’s bikes if they are found blocking pedestrians from this Friday (18 November).

‘Lime’ branded hire bikes that don’t need docking stations are increasingly being left on the borough’s pavements causing serious obstructions particularly for the disabled and people with young children.

In his letter Cllr Hogg states that while the council acknowledges the benefits of this “convenient and sustainable form of travel”, he continues, “however, as the current deployment of Lime bikes has been done without discussion with the Council, your bikes are causing unacceptable obstructions on our pavements.

“This is most acute in streets with pavements of limited width and high footfall and around our rail and underground stations. Some pavements have been impassable, particularly for wheelchair users and people with buggies and prams, who have had to move into the road in order to pass by.

“Wandsworth Council has agreed to provide dedicated parking bays for e-bikes and to enter into agreements with operators regarding their use, but more action is needed urgently by Lime to ensure your customers are using your bikes responsibly.

“I am therefore asking that you increase your efforts in distributing and redistributing bikes to avoid obstructing pavements, and that you provide stronger messages to riders and greater penalties for those who leave bikes in poor locations.

“I have instructed our council officers to remove all Lime bikes that are obstructing Wandsworth's streets on Friday of this week, 18th November 2022, unless steps are taken by Lime to make sure they are parked in a more considerate way.

“We would prefer not to take this action. However, we will not hesitate to do so – unless Lime takes immediate steps to operate in a more responsible way.”

Conservative opposition leader Cllr Will Sweet said, “Hire bikes are a great way to get
around but must be parked responsibly. Unfortunately, these bikes are often left blocking
pavements, making life difficult for residents with mobility needs, those with sight
impairments, and those with young children.

"I’m pleased the Council Leader is finally acting on our recommendations. Better late than
never. Whilst this is welcome progress, we need a long-term solution. Wandsworth
Conservatives’ petition called for the implementation of a three-point plan - the Council has
only committed to two of those three points. We now need the Council to act on the third
point, which is giving council officers the option of fining companies if they’d don’t ensure
compliance with the new designated bays.”

The bikes can be a nuisance for the disabled or people with prams and pushchairs
The bikes can be a nuisance for the disabled or people with prams and pushchairs

Speaking after the dispatch of his letter Cllr Hogg added, “We are actively encouraging cycling and other sustainable forms of transport but it is unhelpful for this company to simply drop thousands of bicycles on London’s streets without any warning or discussion beforehand.”

Hal Stevenson, Senior Public Affairs Manager of Lime UK responded by saying, “Lime understands the importance of not obstructing pavements and other shared spaces. It is vital that our service works for everyone sharing our streets. Though we have never deployed bikes in Wandsworth, we are currently seeing high numbers of vehicles ridden into the borough, as a result of record demand for the service from local residents and visitors.

"To address this we have introduced a number of policies to more effectively manage bikes left in the borough. These include: GPS-based no parking zones, mandatory end trip photos to help review rider parking, an enhanced system of rider education, warnings, fines and bans and a 50% increase in our out of warehouse team size to help retrieve obstructive vehicles even faster.

"We are focused on working with the Council to further improve user parking in the borough ahead of the launch of dedicated parking spaces for shared e-bikes, which will provide a long-term solution to these issues.”

Like Reading Articles Like This? Help Us Produce More

This site remains committed to providing local community news and public interest journalism.

Articles such as the one above are integral to what we do. We aim to feature as much as possible on local societies, charities based in the area, fundraising efforts by residents, community-based initiatives and even helping people find missing pets.

We've always done that and won't be changing, in fact we'd like to do more.

However, the readership that these stories generates is often below that needed to cover the cost of producing them. Our financial resources are limited and the local media environment is intensely competitive so there is a constraint on what we can do.

We are therefore asking our readers to consider offering financial support to these efforts. Any money given will help support community and public interest news and the expansion of our coverage in this area.

A suggested monthly payment is £8 but we would be grateful for any amount for instance if you think this site offers the equivalent value of a subscription to a daily printed newspaper you may wish to consider £20 per month. If neither of these amounts is suitable for you then contact and we can set up an alternative. All payments are made through a secure web site.

One-off donations are also appreciated. Choose The Amount You Wish To Contribute.

If you do support us in this way we'd be interested to hear what kind of articles you would like to see more of on the site – send your suggestions to the editor.

For businesses we offer the chance to be a corporate sponsor of community content on the site. For £30 plus VAT per month you will be the designated sponsor of at least one article a month with your logo appearing if supplied. If there is a specific community group or initiative you'd like to support we can make sure your sponsorship is featured on related content for a one off payment of £50 plus VAT. All payments are made through a secure web site.


November 15, 2022