City Corporation tackles inappropriate dockless bike parking in Square Mile


The City of London Corporation’s Planning and Transportation Committee has voted to continue dockless bike parking arrangements and to approve additional operators in the Square Mile following a successful six month trial which led to almost nine in 10 cycles being parked in designated bays.

The trial, which began in June, sought to assess the effectiveness of designating specific parking locations for dockless cycles, particularly in terms of user compliance and how Beryl and Freebike, the two operators selected for the trial, respond to bikes left outside those locations.

Parking compliance, response times for inappropriately parked bikes, the number of complaints and total trial scheme ridership were all analysed to measure success.

On average 89% and 87% of Beryl and Freebike users respectively ended their hires in a designated parking bay. Parking compliance also improved slightly over the trials period for both schemes. During the trial, familiarity of the parking bays is thought to have improved as users of other operators also left bikes in designated spaces.

 Average response time to inappropriately parked bikes, another key metric for measuring success, was approximately 40 minutes for Beryl and Freebikes operating teams, which was well within the 90 minutes set out in the terms of the trial.

Over the period, Beryl and Freebike received ten requests and complaints from the City Corporation and members of the public regarding inappropriately parked bikes. The total number of hires under both schemes was over 18,000.

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New operators will be approved to operate in the City if they meet the existing criteria and terms set out by the City Corporation, can demonstrate that enough additional parking capacity can be found and delivered on-street to accommodate additional parking demand, cover the cost of any new parking infrastructure required to accommodate additional parking demand and are operating in at least one neighbouring borough.

The current trial with Freebike and Beryl will be extended until 31 March 2020 while the City Corporation prepares for allowing more operators in the Square Mile.

This arrangement would remain in place until a Transport for London /London Councils pan-London byelaw is adopted and implemented, currently expected in mid-2020.

Alastair Moss, Chair of the Planning and Transportation Committee at the City of London Corporation, said: “The City is once again leading the way in encouraging responsible cycling. Dockless bike hire is now a vital component of London’s transport offer, but it has always come with challenges with regard to parking.

“The overwhelming success of this trial has shown that we are rising to the challenge, and enabling workers, visitors and residents to enjoy the benefits that dockless cycling brings.

“Opening this approach to other operators will provide users with more choice while continuing to offer control over our streets and pavements, ensuring that we maintain the highest possible standards in the Square Mile.”

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