End dump­ing cy­cle

Coun­cils ask for rules on share bikes

Herald Sun - - NEWS - JOHN MASANAUSKAS CITY EDI­TOR john.masanauskas@news.com.au @jmasanauskas

BI­CY­CLE dump­ing is prompt­ing lo­cal coun­cils to push the Vic­to­rian gov­ern­ment to reg­u­late dock­less bike share schemes such as oBike.

City of Port Phillip coun­cil­lor Dick Gross said an agree­ment his city and two other coun­cils signed last year with oBike, which was meant to en­sure that its bikes did not ob­struct foot­paths, were clear of traf­fic, and were parked up­right, had been at best “a Band-Aid so­lu­tion which is not prov­ing to be very ef­fec­tive”.

“Bikes are left in pub­lic spa­ces such as parks and foot­paths with no thought to pub­lic safety,” he says in a mo­tion to go be­fore coun­cil tonight.

“This is par­tic­u­larly dan­ger­ous for peo­ple walk­ing, par­tic­u­larly the mo­bil­i­ty­im­paired,” he says.

Un­der the me­moran­dum of un­der­stand­ing, any dan­ger­ously placed oBikes were to be re­lo­cated within two hours.

Cr Gross wants the Mu­nic­i­pal As­so­ci­a­tion of Vic­to­ria to lobby the gov­ern­ment to bring in rules en­sur­ing that dock­less share bikes are safe and are not left in ar­eas where they cre­ate a pub­lic haz­ard or nui­sance.

“Coun­cils do not have the power to reg­u­late dock­less bike share. How­ever, the state gov­ern­ment can cre­ate reg­u­la­tions un­der the Road Safety Act (such as con­trol­ling how bikes are stored and im­pos­ing fines for non­com­pli­ance),” Cr Gross said.

He said that by last Oc­to­ber, the Port Phillip, Mel­bourne and Yarra city coun­cils had re­ceived more than 400 com­plaints and in­quiries re­lat­ing to the oBikes.

Dis­abil­ity Min­is­ter Mar­tin Fo­ley said La­bor had long ad­vo­cated that oBike be held ac­count­able “for the trail of yel­low cy­cles clut­ter­ing our foot­paths and pub­lic spa­ces”.

“We will con­tinue to work with lo­cal coun­cils to en­sure they have the pow­ers they need to man­age the chal­lenges of the dock­less bike in­dus­try,” Mr Fo­ley said.

The gov­ern­ment has been sup­port­ing the MAV and coun­cils to set up a Share Bike Ad­vi­sory Group.

The En­vi­ron­ment Pro­tec­tion Au­thor­ity has also met oBike man­agers to out­line con­cerns about dumped bikes and pub­lic com­plaints.

Un­der the En­vi­ron­ment Pro­tec­tion Act, the EPA or an au­tho­rised coun­cil of­fi­cer can is­sue a no­tice re­quir­ing oBike not to de­posit lit­ter con­trary to the Act. Non-com­pli­ance with such a no­tice car­ries a penalty of up to $3171.40.

OBike’s ri­val dock­less bike share com­pa­nies Ofo, Moke and Reddy Go are in talks to be­gin op­er­a­tions in Mel­bourne later this year.

Driver Wayne Kirk gets ready to tow dumped bikes. Pic­ture: TONY GOUGH

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.