Wandsworth council seizes more than 100 oBikes for "blocking pavements"

Alys Key
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Wandsworth said the bikes had been left blocking pavements (Source: Living Streets)

Bike sharing company oBike faced yet more disagreements with London local authorities today, this time after Wandsworth council seized more than 100 of the fleet of bikes.

In a blog post put on the Wandsworth council website last night, the council said it had removed 130 bikes since oBike launched in London in July. It called oBike "the company that’s flooded London with a rash of yellow rental bikes", and said its operation was a "yellow bike plague".

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But the same post also claimed that Wandsworth is the "cycling capital of London" after increasing its proportion of regular cyclists.

Wandsworth council said oBike had "arrived as a direct competitor to the Mayor’s cycle hire scheme", even though the Santander Cycle hire scheme does not cover all areas of London including some parts of Wandsworth such asTooting.

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Transport spokesman Jonathan Cook said: “We are happy to support an initiative that gets more people using bikes, but without a drastic re-think, and proper consultation with all the capital’s highway authorities this particular scheme, as it stands, is not the answer.”

Since launching last month, oBike has already rubbed Hammersmith and Fulham council up the wrong way by neglecting to consult with authorities before bringing the bikeshare craze to West London.

It also faces competition after rival Mobike launched in Ealing this week.

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