The battle against bicycle vandals

Vandalism has once again proved the undoing of another city’s electric bike scheme. In Derby earlier this month, the rental scheme – operated by Hourbike – was put into temporary suspension to allow time for “options to be explored”.

In June 2018, approximately 200 e-bikes were placed at 30 points across the city after funding worth £450,000 was secured. The scheme subsequently saw around 7000 riders travel 150,000 miles after its launch.

However, the scheme has now been suspended after a surge in vandalism left only about a third of the fleet of cycles useable. Hourbike said a small group of vandals seemed “intent on destroying” it, and the city council noted that hammers and angle grinders had been used to smash the bikes’ digital panels. Jonathan Smale from the council said: “It is very hard to understand why anybody would want to ruin an initiative designed only to benefit the community.”

Unfortunately, vandalism of bike-sharing schemes is nothing new in the UK. For example, Mobike’s scheme in Manchester was stopped in September 2018 after losing 10% of its fleet each month. A similar story has also been seen with other bike schemes in Edinburgh, Sheffield and Newcastle, among others.

Theft and vandalism are everyday problems experienced by bike owners too, not just bike hirers, and these problems highlight the importance of safe and secure storage facilities for all users. At metroSTOR we are keen to support and promote the growth of active travel such as cycling to reduce congestion in cities and improve air quality, as well as helping people to get fit and healthy.

We can provide tough, configurable and neat bike lockers, stores and hubs that are designed with both security and utility firmly in mind. A range of locking mechanisms and access control options is available to suit the requirements of any particular location, while a fully welded steel frame with security fixings on our PCL store, for example, ensures that cycles chained inside cannot be removed even if panel integrity is compromised by attempted theft.

If you’d like to discuss how we can help with outdoor storage for bikes and scooters, please contact the metroSTOR team.