London council to ban leaving e-bikes on pavements

Image from April 2024 showing almost a dozen bikes blocking a pavement in Clapham Junction
David Tidley from Wandsworth Council said e-bikes cause issues when parked inconsiderately [BBC]

Riders will be banned from abandoning e-bikes on busy town centre pavements in a south London borough under a new scheme.

Wandsworth Council will bring the ban into force once it has finished installing 111 parking bays for e-bikes across the borough, including Clapham Junction, Tooting Broadway, Tooting Bec, Wandsworth, Balham and Putney town centres.

The scheme aims to deal with issues created from when rental e-bikes are left parked on pavements, blocking routes for pedestrians.

E-bike operators Lime UK and HumanForest have been contacted for a response.

Image from April 2024 showing over a dozen bikes blocking a street crossing in Clapham Junction
Parking bays are being created throughout the borough where e-bikes can be left [BBC]

Installation of the parking bays began on Thursday and the council expects to complete the works in about four weeks.

The authority said e-bike parking will be banned on pavements in busy town centre locations once all the bays have been installed.

It added "free-floating" parking will still be allowed away from these hotspots and in quieter parts of the borough, with more parking bays expected by the end of the year, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

David Tidley, head of transport strategy at the council, said the borough supports the use of e-bikes as a "convenient travel option" for residents and visitors, but they cause issues when parked inconsiderately.

BBC London has approached the council for further clarification about how the "busy" areas will be defined and how the scheme will be enforced.

It follows a previous dispute between Wandsworth council and Lime.

Council officers began seizing bikes in November 2022 after then-leader Simon Hogg said they had made Wandsworth town centre "impassable" one weekend.

Similar issues have also been reported in other parts of London, including in Westminster, and in Hounslow where residents complained about an e-bike parking scheme trial.

The National Federation of the Blind of the UK (NFBUK) had also said in 2022 many visually impaired people were unable to travel confidently and were put off visiting central London's attractions due to "dangerous and awkward" e-bikes dumped on pavements.

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