eBikes Derby, one of the UK's first e-bike share schemes, has been forced to suspend operations while they find a solution to what they call 'unprecedented levels of vandalism in the city of Derby, which has seen many of their e-bikes fall into a state of disrepair.
Following a 2-month period of unprecedented levels of vandalism, which has seen the scheme's e-bikes across the city aggressively targeted by a small group of vandals, we are no longer able to operate the scheme with the ever decreasing number of e-bikes remaining (1/3)— ebikes derby (@ebikesderby) June 10, 2019
The startup's website is currently displaying a statement explaining the situation, which they have also posted on their Twitter account. Many on social media have decried the situation which has seen two thirds of the e-bikes rendered unusable. eBikes Derby is ran by bikeshare firm Hourbike, who also run a non-electric bike share scheme in Liverpool. Their managing director Tim Caswell said: “It is with great regret that we announce the temporary closure of eBikes Derby. Due to a 2-month period of intensive and aggressive vandalism, which has seen e-bikes across the city targeted by a small group of vandals seemingly intent on destroying it, we can no longer operate the scheme with the remaining fleet.
"We were therefore forced to recommend the temporary closure of the scheme, to allow time to consider our options, alongside our partners. We would like to offer a huge thank you to our loyal riders who have used the scheme responsibly and regularly – for you, we very much hope to re-open Derby’s electric bikeshare to full working order very soon”.
In a press release Derby City Council also expressed their disappointment, with Councillor Jonathan Smale calling the situation "very disappointing". Below is eBikes Derby's statement in full:
"eBikes Derby is sad to announce the temporary suspension of Derby's electric bikeshare scheme, effective immediately.
"Following a two month period of unprecedented levels of vandalism, which has seen the scheme's e-bikes across the city aggressively targeted by a small group of vandals, we are no longer able to operate the scheme effectively with the ever decreasing number of e-bikes remaining. More than two-thirds of e-bikes have been removed from circulation for repair and we are therefore forced into a temporary closure of the scheme. This will allow us time, along with our partners, to consider our options. We would like to offer a huge thank you to our loyal riders - over 7,000 of you who have used the scheme responsibly and regularly – for you, we very much hope to restore Derby’s electric bikeshare scheme to full working order soon.
"Some eBikes will still be visible today as we collect the remaining fleet but you will be unable to rent them.
"Thanks again for all your support"