Sarah Barth July 22 2017
Oxford could be the next city to launch dockless bikes, following controversial pilots in London and Cambridge.
The Chinese giant Ofo is hoping to leave a number of its bikes in the streets of the university town, allowing casual users to jump on from 50p a time.
It follows a three-week trial in Cambridge earlier this year, where 20 bikes were piloted.
But the company has been criticised for allowing its bikes to litter the streets.
The company’s operations director Joseph Seal-Driver told the Oxford Mail it was attracted by Oxford’s desire for a Zero Emission Zone by 2020.
He said: “Oxford’s zero emissions zone is just the type of bold and aggressive thinking we need if we are serious about tackling air pollution and climate change.
“After a successful trial phase in Cambridge we are looking to roll out into a number of cities around the UK.
“We believe we could make a difference in Oxford.”
Cyclox chairman Simon Hunt said: “There’s a great deal of concern that they might come in with such a large number of bikes, they will flood the place.
“There isn’t a lot of cycle parking in the city and these bikes could be left in places affecting pedestrians and other cyclists.”
He added: “The quality of the bike is going to be all important and whether they are properly maintained.
“Having a variety of schemes is a good thing, whether its Boris Bike-style docking stations or dockless bikes, which are already up and running in the city through Bainton Bikes, and can be very effective.
“I would cautiously welcome it, we will have to wait and see but if it starts small and the bikes are good I look forward to seeing it prosper.”
Cambridge City Council leader Lewis Herbert said: “Being a historic city, like Oxford, we can’t cope with a ‘leave and dump a bike anywhere’ scheme.