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Dockless bikes

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What are dockless bikes?

Dockless bike rental operates without dedicated docking stations. This means that bikes can be picked up and parked anywhere within participating boroughs (subject to certain exclusions for safety and other reasons).

The current fleet of dockless bikes have GPS tracking systems that allow users to locate available bikes and operators to monitor their fleet. The bikes also include electric drive to assist users on their journeys and to navigate hills, as well as useful additions such as LED headlights.

Users must register with an operator before rental, which can be done online or via a mobile app. Once an account has been created, the bikes are ready to use. Each operator has their own pricing system which usually corresponds to the time duration of the rental, with some operators offering different pricing incentives to support their users.

As the bikes do not have dedicated docking stations, operators need to regularly manage their fleet out on the street. This includes collecting bikes to carry out maintenance – such as swapping the electric batteries – and redistributing bikes to different locations where needed.

While the absence of docking stations has its benefits for a rental scheme, it can cause issues. As bikes can be parked anywhere, there are instances where parked bikes can cause obstruction. In these circumstances, you should report the bikes to the operator and they will be quickly removed. Another way to reduce obstructions is through the creation of ‘virtual’ parking bays – in addition to physically marked bays – which users must park in or be subject to a fine or account suspension.

At the time of writing, there is no regulation of the private dockless bike rental market. Therefore, overall enforcement and management of the market and operators is complex. It is expected that legislation will eventually be introduced, potentially in the form of a licensing system, with additional powers for local authorities over operators. In the meantime, local authorities are taking different approaches to the dockless bike market, with some entering into contractual agreements with operators while others are opting for a more informal approach.

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Dockless bikes in Haringey

The council does not currently have a formal partnership with any dockless operator. However, residents will have noticed an increasing presence of dockless e-bikes within the borough. This is a result of users riding the bikes into the borough from adjacent boroughs and the bikes being re-used before they are relocated to the originating borough.

The council is regularly communicating and working with operators to maximise benefits to residents and minimise any issues which arise, such as abandoned or obstructive bikes, which we know can be a particular issue for individuals and groups within our communities.

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Reporting obstructive or abandoned bikes

Lime bikes

Lime is the major operator in the borough at present. The company has committed to removing obstructive or abandoned bikes quickly when they are made aware of them.

To report an issue with a Lime bike please report this to Lime directly by either:

Lime’s operational team will try to relocate problem bikes within an hour.

Other operators

Bikes from other operators may also be found in the borough. Use the following links to report an issue with them

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Tell us your experience

If you have feedback you would like to share with us in relation to the current operators please email docklessbikes@haringey.gov.uk

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Future planned trial – have your say

Haringey’s Walking and Cycling Action Plan sets out the council’s aim to enable more active travel in Haringey. As part of our ambitious Streets for People programme, we are planning to deliver a formal dockless bike scheme in the borough. This will be on an initial trial basis and is expected to begin from Autumn 2023.

The trial scheme will involve the council entering into a formal agreement with one or more dockless bike providers. This will enable the rollout of dockless bikes across the entire borough in a way that maximises the benefits of dockless while minimising any impacts.

Ahead of the launch, we are seeking your views to help us to tailor the trial scheme to best suit your needs.

It's our goal to improve access to cycling for all, ensuring that everyone who wants to cycle for their journeys will have the opportunity to do so. However, we appreciate that there will be different views on dockless bikes and how they might impact residents, businesses and visitors. Getting used to these changes can take time which can be disruptive in the short term. These impacts, however, will depend greatly on the design of the trial scheme (e.g. where dockless bikes are distributed and where parking bays are located). Therefore, we need your views to help develop a successful scheme that works for the community as a whole.

How to send us your views

We are inviting residents, businesses and other stakeholders to share their views on the trial dockless scheme. The deadline for feedback is Sunday 19 February 2023

You can provide feedback in the following ways:

  • Via email at docklessbikes@haringey.gov.uk
  • Via post – write to: Transport Planning, Haringey Council, 5th Floor, Alexandra House, Station Road, Wood Green, London N22 7TR

We also collected feedback via our dockless bikes Commonplace site (external link) between January and February. The surveys are now closed but you can still read about the proposals on the site.

We will review all feedback received and this will inform the development of the trial dockless bike scheme. Please note there will be a further opportunity to feedback on the trial scheme in Autumn 2023 when it is in force.

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Page last updated:

June 30, 2023