Designated e-bike parking bays are to be installed in the West End in a bid to tackle dockless cycles left on pavements.
The plans would see roughly 250 parking bays created, including 80 existing e-scooter bays which would be extended to create space for bikes. Bays would also be created by replacing kerb-side space currently used for car parking, said Paul Dimoldenberg, Westminster’s cabinet member for city management.
Riders who fail to follow the new parking rules will incur additional hire charges, and they may also receive a fine or be locked out of their account.
According to the Evening Standard, Dimoldenberg has been in months of discussions to establish a “Westminster-wide network of parking bays for dockless e-bikes”.
He told the Standard: “The idea is that the whole of Westminster will be geo-fenced, so e-bike riders can only park their bike in a designated bay. Otherwise they will continue to be charged as if they are continuing their journey.”
A memorandum of understanding between the council and operators Tier, Lime, Dott and HumanForest could be in place by July. The firms, which would be expected to contribute to the cost, said as many as 500 bays across Westminster may be needed to meet demand.
Last year, Westminster City Council began seizing e-bikes from London’s various dockless share schemes which it said were being “dumped across the city.”
Explaining the move, Dimoldenberg said: “Trying to walk down some of our streets has become like attempting an obstacle course and we are fed up finding these bikes dumped across the city.”
He added: “Westminster City Council is supportive of cycling and the many benefits it brings, particularly when it comes to cleaning up air quality. We want to find a solution that works for everyone but, in the meantime, people living and visiting Westminster shouldn’t have to put up with this every day.”