WestEndExtra

The independent London newspaper

Dockless bikes are a nightmare for the visually impaired

05 September, 2019

‘Bikes parked on pavements are not only an inconvenience, they are dangerous’

• THE amount of clutter on Camden’s pavements is always testing, but the irresponsible dumping of dockless hire bikes is proving to be a major new challenge to people with visual or mobility impairments.

Unlike the dock-based Santander Cycles, tech start-up app-based hire bike schemes – such as Lime’s E-bikes and Uber’s red Jump bikes – enable a customer to pick up and leave a bike anywhere.

And members of Visually Impaired in Camden (VIC) report that this often means in the middle of the pavement, for example, or parked against a pedestrian crossing thereby blocking access to the tactile indicators on the crossing etc. Bikes parked on pavements are not only an inconvenience, they are dangerous.

London Councils, which represents town halls in the capital, is considering a by-law that would make tech start-ups responsible for ensuring their cycles are left inside designated spaces.

VIC considers this can’t happen soon enough. But in the meantime could bike users please park responsibly and out of the way of pedestrians.

ROSEMARY NICHOLSON
Visually Impaired in Camden

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