back to article Uber JUMPs at chance to dump load of electric bikes across Islington

From today folk in Islington, London, can hire an electric bike off Uber rather than a cab. 350 electric bikes have been scattered around the borough as part of a trial which will be extended across the city in the next few months. The bikes' electric assist is limited to 15 miles per hour. Uber assured us that all bikes …

  1. TRT Silver badge

    Islington...

    The first UK council to abandon reason and declare themselves a blanket 20mph Borough.

    The speed profile for getting anywhere in Islington now looks like...

    Tube > UBER Bike > skateboard/scooter > walking > the bus > driving > giving up and sitting outside a pub for a beer instead because it's generally going to be more fun that whatever else you were heading to Islington for in the first place (possibly with the exception of sex).

    1. Tim Greenwood

      Re: Islington...

      Probably quickest to use your own bike if you and the bike are in reasonable condition.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: Islington...

        True, true. If you can fit one into your converted rabbit hutch, or find a space within your curtilage which isn't taken up with recycling bins.

        1. FrogsAndChips Silver badge

          Re: Islington...

          I've seen enclosed bike sheds pop up in a few streets of Islington, probably targeted for residents.

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Islington...

          "curtilage"

          Now, there's a word you rarely see outside of council planning departments. Well done sir. Was that the Readers Digest word of the day? :-)

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Islington...

          Nobody forces you to live in dirty, overcrowded parts of London, you know.

      2. hplasm Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Islington...

        "Probably quickest to use your own bike if you and the bike are in reasonable condition."

        " (possibly with the exception of sex)."

        FTFY

    2. BebopWeBop Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: Islington...

      a 20 mph zone - abandoning reason? You are obviously a selfish (most of them are not and I include myself) driver with little interest in people outwith your little metal box. But I suppose you need to drive faster in Islington so......

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Islington...

        "a 20 mph zone - abandoning reason? You are obviously a selfish (most of them are not and I include myself) driver with little interest in people outwith your little metal box. But I suppose you need to drive faster in Islington so......"

        I object to 20mph zones, as an occasional car driver, but also bus passenger, cyclist, pedestrian and parent of children living in London.

        You can only seriously consider such an objection to be 'selfish' if you actually believe the hyperbole spouted by the idiots running the borough councils.

        I have had neighbouring Haringey council's 20mph zone inflicted on me. Its such a stupid idea, which will have been trumpeted as a huge success ... despite that virtually nobody respects the 20mph limit. During rush hour, you can only drive at a fraction of that due to traffic volume, if you have to drive during those times at all. Outside of rush hour when things quieten down, most people revert to 30mph. The sort of people that lower limits are targetted at have never bothered reading road signs, and continue to drive at 40mph+ speeds in urban spaces, and ignore most basic road rules entirely.

        If you actually do stick to only 20mph according to the car speedo, you are actually only moving at ~15-16mph. Seriously, try checking on GPS some time! (speedometers tend to over-state speed by 4-5mph). At that speed, it takes nearly 30% longer to get anywhere than the more sensible 30mph. Given the distances that you tend to cover in car journeys, and the additional delays imposed by the hundreds of traffic lights on your route - arrival times go into the realms of ridiculous.

        And then, consider emissions. The longer journeys that people have to make as a result of the slower speeds, means that vehicles are crawling along the roads producing fumes for longer. How does that make sense?

        Finally, as a pedestrian and cyclist, the most frustrating part is that as traffic is slowed down, the gaps between cars get smaller, so it actually gets harder to cycle and cross roads safely.

        1. JassMan Silver badge

          Re: Islington...

          Even worse is they are flagged as environmental zones. I find that I use 50% more fuel at 20 in second than at 30 in third. Also there several hills round Islington which use 0 fuel if you descend in 2nd gear but the slope means that engine braking runs at 30. You either have to use the brakes or drop back to first gear and use fuel to run at 20. Both are environmentally unfriendly as asbestos brake dust is more dangerous than CO2 and NOx.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Islington...

            UK brakes have been asbestos free for years IIRC

            Albeit even north of the border we aren't immune from windbag councillors, the latest - new housing development on edge of town A, Speedlimits on edge of town currently go 30, school time 20, 40, then 60 then back to 30 about 4 miles away at village B

            Local SNP group leader decided that was "too confusing" "its dangerous" "Drivers will thank me for making things clearer" and pushed through (in contravention to national speed limit framework) a blanket 40mph from the new housing development out to Village B. This being despite Police Scotland opposing it and stating that the road layout is consistent with 60mph and it will be virtually impossible to enforce a blanket 40mph limit, with motorists not sticking to a 40 limit anyway due to the road being straight, wide and with no junctions. However she refused to listen "we as councillors want it, the people of village B want it and I believe motorists want it"

            She got her way as the wet behind the ears and parachuted in conservative cllr (who only appeared in town during the last council elections, prior to that he had been parachuted into the highlands as a failed candidate in the 2017 elections and before that.....he was a student at Durham university - yes wet behind the ears and full of the over the top bravado of youth, no life or work experience just parachuted into cllr role (they claimed he was "your local conservative candidate" didn't realise someone whose spent 99% of their life 200+ miles away counts as "local")) on the committee and various others got behind her proposal to look like they were "doing something".

            Utter cretins, the whole shower of them. Roads are crumbling, local shops are shutting down as they brought in parking charges to struggling town centres (cue a mass of shops shutting down of the last few months, some which have been in business over 60 years due to a crash in footfall), no recyclable waste provision removed from most recycling centres bar 3 and the leader of the administration pushing for centres to only take recycling "you can't recycle everything" from another councillor was batted away, wouldn't be surprised if he has "contacts" in waste disposal companies.

            1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

              Re: Islington...

              Will not roads crumble less if vehicles slow down a bit?

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Islington...

                They can't be any worse.

              2. The First Dave Silver badge

                Re: Islington...

                No, speed has little if anything to do with road condition. The two most important factors are weight and acceleration. Apparently road damage goes with the fourth power of axle-weight, so busses cause way more damage than all of the cars that they allegedly replace, particularly in stop-start traffic.

          2. BebopWeBop Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: Islington...

            Do you actually have evidence of that saving or is it wishful thinking? Just curious.......

            1. Insert sadsack pun here

              Re: Islington...

              Islington is about 5 miles from top to bottom. If you had a straight, traffic free road for the whole length, youd make that trip in 10 minutes at 30mph or 15 minutes at 20mph, so you'd be moaning about a 5 minute delay. However, the above circumstances literally never ever happen, as it's probably the most densely inhabited and trafficked LA in the UK. What you're actually moaning about is a delay of seconds, and a benefit of fewer accidents, less serious accidents and lower pollution.

              1. Cuddles Silver badge

                Re: Islington...

                "What you're actually moaning about is a delay of seconds, and a benefit of fewer accidents, less serious accidents and lower pollution."

                Do you actually have evidence of that? The problem many of us have with things like blanket 20 mph zones is that they're overwhelmingly applied in areas that don't actually have many accidents in the first place. In my area, the country roads have almost all been dropped from 60 to 40 mph, despite the vast majority of them never having had any accidents. It's all done in the name of safety, but not only is there little evidence of benefit, in many cases it's simply not possible for there to be any.

                As for pollution, again, evidence would be nice. Speed and fuel efficiency aren't helpfully proportionate to each other. The most efficient speed is usually around 50 mph, although obviously it depends on the car and conditions. As another poster noted, dropping from 30 to 20 mph can actually make pollution worse, especially with manual cars who have to drop to lower gears to manage it.

                As for time, it might be true that the difference is relatively trivial if you only look at the difference for a single journey across a single small area, but it all adds up. If speed limits are 10-20 mph lower than necessary on most roads that people drive on regularly, it's not just a few seconds lost over 5 miles in Islington, it's at least couple of minutes lost on every single journey, for millions of people every single day. That's a hell of a lot of time being wasted. If there are actual benefits gained in return there could be reasonable discussion about whether it's worth it, but when in many cases it has no safety benefit while being actively detrimental to the environment, what could possibly be the justification for it?

                The problem is, roads are complicated, and speed limits are just one factor among many. There are certainly some places that absolutely would benefit from lower speed limits. But it's far too easy to just blindly lower them to be able to claim that you're doing something, when the benefits of doings so can be so small they're actually negative.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Islington...

                I'll let you know when I can get through Islington by car in less than thirty minutes.

        2. Gonzo wizard
          FAIL

          See also: Ealing

          Slowly but surely implementing 20mph everywhere. However the busses haven’t slowed down, so neither has anybody else.

          I’m for 20mph zones on the roads that are immediately adjacent to schools, hospitals and parks, and on shopping streets. Everywhere else they are unnecessary, ignored and unenforced. A total waste of money.

        3. BebopWeBop Silver badge

          Re: Islington...

          You obviously do not walk or have children who do. Think a little - the increased gap is there for a very good reason - people need to stop in time. In practice, it provides no additional space to 'slip in' or cross the road. The 20mph is more polluting is a fallacy - look at the evidence and the reduction in deaths and injuries for other road injuries is clear and unambiguous.

          1. TRT Silver badge

            Re: Islington...

            If my children were out and about walking around at 3am I’d be really concerned. Blanket zone means not only everywhere but everywhen too. And at 3am on Junction Road, for example, there’s no need to have a 20 limit enforced as it is by camera. And at 3pm, on the same road, you’d be lucky to hit 20mph. And this is my objection - it’s fad policy. It reinforces the “opinion” that limits are advisory not mandatory when set inappropriately low.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Islington...

      Are there really (m)any places in Islington or other inner city areas where you could actually drive at much over 20 mi/h for any distance or time anyway?

      Oh no, possibly your journey might be lengthened by about 2 minutes at most, assuming that traffic lights and other traffic don't introduce other pauses into your journey anyway.

      1. macjules Silver badge

        Re: Islington...

        Knightsbridge to Fulham Palace Road, around the small roundabout and back again at around 3am. All the Saudi/Gulf boys seem to do that every night. Marks seem to be awarded for how many times you can flip your Bugatti Veyron into 1st gear at 70mph and wake up all the residents along the way.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Islington...

      Who wants to go to Islington anyway.

      Its a dump full of champagne socialists (Corbyn excluded, he is a socialist .... but likely an annoying sitting tenant for the Islington clique).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Islington...

        "Its a dump full of champagne socialists"

        You're unfunny AND ignorant. 38% of Islingtonians live in poverty; it has the fourth highest rate of child deprivation in the whole of England and Wales; it's the most densely populated local authority in England and Wales. The idea that is full of the champage-swilling elite is just bollocks... probably from some chippy Northerner.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Islington...

          If Islington is so bad why not move ?

  2. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    Will never catch on in South Africa, the bikes will skedaddle off to the nearest township, to be stripped off all usable parts.

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      Alien

      "Will never catch on in South Africa, the bikes will skedaddle off to the nearest township, to be stripped off all usable parts."

      Fookin' Prawns...

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Quite likely to happen in a lot of places: the batteries alone are often worth a packet. But then again, it's Other People's Money, so why should Uber care?

    3. fajensen Silver badge
      Pint

      London is more similar to Cape Town than most people would think!

      But, Ubers business model is to burn millions at a similar rate that Apollo IV burns fuel with the difference that Uber is never, ever getting off the launch ramp - so ... they have to add new losing ventures to execute their business plan.

      The lads & ladettes will be selling some nifty batteries and electric drive trains behind the pub.

  3. Semtex451 Silver badge
    Headmaster

    "From today folk in Islington, London, can hire an electric bike off Uber rather than a cab."

    Never in my life have I hired a bike off a cab.

    Oh you mean ....From today folk in Islington, London, can hire an electric bike FROM Uber rather than HIRING a cab?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Didn't work in Manchester either

    I believe they were all stolen/vandalised and the operator pulled out , but they were mobikes instead... not that it will make a difference here:

    https://www.transportxtra.com/publications/local-transport-today/news/60939/mobike-suspends-operation-in-newcastle-and-gateshead/

    1. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: Didn't work in Manchester either

      That was my thinking. No matter what security the likes of Uber come up with the scallies will get round it, even if they are only going to chuck the bike in a canal or burn it.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Didn't work in Manchester either

      It was Manchester !

  5. sal II

    £25 fine sounds like a recipe for disaster. What happens if the GPS doesn't give the correct coordinates when you lock in the correct place at the end of the journey? Or if some "well wisher" decides to pickup the bike and dump it on the pavement after you have finished?

    Also how long do the batteries last without a docking station at the end of each journey? I'm fairly sure that the majority of the users will go lazy solely relying on electric power.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      The gig economy expects to be able to pay some poor sod to go around collecting, charging and redistributing them to preferred points.

      Personally, in a city I'm not convinced that e-bikes are the way to go. Here in Düsseldorf the little electric mopeds look like a better idea and reasonably popular with the kids, not least because they can carry two. You have to leave them at designated points and I think the charging is done by swapping batteries.

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      sal II,

      I don't think you can rely solely on electric power. Under UK law, bikes that work like that count as mopeds, and you'd need a driving licence. So you have to pedal to activate the motor.

      As to the problem with the GPS being wrong, and rubbish. That's fine. More money for Uber.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "So you have to pedal to activate the motor."

        Pedal assist electric bikes can be quicker than bikes without a motor going uphill. On the flat though, it's not that hard to overtake one when you're on a "normal" bike...

        i.e they're not worth bothering with if your ride is mostly flat.

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Depending on the setup electric bikes can really shift and are not that easy to catch, though that isn't really the point of them. A mate of mine uses one for his daily 8 km each way commute and finds the reliability of the speed key. He's a keen cyclist anyway but this means he can get to work in a reasonable time (faster than the car) in any weather without breaking into a massive sweat.

          The bigger problem with the electric bikes is that lots of people, particularly older ones, underestimate their acceleration. This has, in Germany, at least led to an increase in accidents involving electric bikes especially at junctions. I think the problem is that lots of people set the assist to match a higher gear, which the motors are more than capable of doing and gives the bike dragster like performance.

          I can see future versions integrating some kind of automatic gear changing to limit the acceleration.

      2. fajensen Silver badge
        Terminator

        As to the problem with the GPS being wrong, and rubbish.

        That is so easily fixed by The Market: Contracting the parking mafia, for example Europark, to pick up tossed and abandoned bikes in return for the right to collect a part of the "wrong parking fees".

        For added incentive we could do a Dutch Auction on the parking portion of the fees so we get the scummiest most entrepreneurial operators into the deal.

    3. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
      Pint

      What if...

      Sal 2 raised a point, "...if the GPS doesn't give the correct coordinates..."

      Or, what if there was an approved spot here, and right next to it a not approved No Parking spot? One could imagine some sort of infinitesimal line, or 'boundary' if you will, between the two categories of space.

      GPS - with its +/- several meter accuracy - will have both false positives, and false negatives.

      Best not to give them your credit card number.

      1. slartybartfast

        Re: What if...

        Yep, you've got to love this UBER account way of paying to travel. They have your card details and make it very hard for the customer to challenge if they think they've been unfairly charged for 'crap parking'. What's to stop some dick moving the bike once the customer has parked it in the correct way? It would be so much easier (and probably cheaper) just to order an UBER cab. Unfortunately for UBER it does mean paying a cab driver and no fine for 'crap parking'.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: What if...

          I think they've just invented a new game to play on the way home from the pub.

          Are you allowed to ride one while over the drink-drive limit ?

          1. Cederic Silver badge

            Re: What if...

            No. You're also not allowed to ride a non-electric bike while over the drink drive limit, so be sensible, walk or get someone else to drive you.

          2. macjules Silver badge

            Re: What if...

            Next up: Uber Tandem

    4. Insert sadsack pun here

      "What happens if the GPS doesn't give the correct coordinates when you lock in the correct place at the end of the journey? Or if some "well wisher" decides to pickup the bike and dump it on the pavement after you have finished?"

      RTFA. The bike comes with a built-in cable lock.

  6. davenewman

    Chinese bikes already here

    Lime and Uber are not the best known. There are already 2 big Chinese companies competing to get us to hire their bicycles in many cities in the UK.

    Oxford has 4 companies hiring bicycles. Pony bike (local), Mobike and Ofo (Chinese) all use mobile apps to hire. Then there are the bicycle shops doing traditional hire for the day such as Bainton Bikes.

    But I guess the person who posted the press release here hasn't bothered to look outside London.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: But I guess the person who posted the press release here hasn't bothered to look outside London.

      You mean there is a world outside of London that is not inhabited by savages wearing war paint?

      [see Icon]

      1. Cederic Silver badge
        Flame

        Re: But I guess the person who posted the press release here hasn't bothered to look outside London.

        Yes. It's where the British people live.

    2. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

      Re: Chinese bikes already here

      Yes it's interesting. I saw a report recently of a pile of 100's and 100's of unused hire bikes dumped in a heap due to no demand. Perhaps they should have reused them rather than new electric ones for lazy people.

      1. Fred Dibnah Silver badge

        Re: Chinese bikes already here

        Have you tried riding a non-electric hire bike uphill? Even the gentle approach to Tower Bridge / Sydney Harbour Bridge (del as appropriate) is incredibly hard work without a motor. E-bikes are not for lazy people, they’re for people who want to cycle but need a bit of assistance.

        To the author: e-bikes are limited to 15mph by law, so there’s no need to mention it.

        1. Korev Silver badge

          Re: Chinese bikes already here

          Not in every country...

        2. Anonymous Cabbage
          Headmaster

          Re: Chinese bikes already here

          If you think that said "gentle approach" is "incredibly hard work", then you should probably lay off the pies and spend more time on the bike. I see steeper hills here in Holland, which is famously as flat as a billiard table. Now if you said City Road with a gammon-faced bus driver crawling up your arse, I'd be more in agreement.

          To be particularly pedantic about the speed limit, it's actually 15.5mph, only applies to that particular legal category of e-bike ("pedelec") and doesn't apply if you are pedalling under your own steam which will always be the case on an unmodified (i.e. still road-legal) pedelec because the power cuts out at 25km/h. This is also not a universal law across the UK, but is the case for Islington.

          Other types of e-bike can go faster, but have a much stricter licensing regime and are not generally all that attractive compared to a motorbike.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Chinese bikes already here

            As if the 20mph limit was not enough, now we have to contend with bikes at 15.5 mph wandering all over the place.

          2. Fred Dibnah Silver badge

            Re: Chinese bikes already here

            Perhaps I should lay off the pies, but I’m a club rider and the coffee stops are very tempting :-). I can ride my lightweight road bike around my hilly city quite happily, but the weight and riding position of hire bikes make very hard work of every incline. Since hire bikes are used mainly as transport and not for exercise, they need to be usable by non-cyclists of all abilities, and e-bikes fit the bill perfectly.

    3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Chinese bikes already here

      Yes, but Mobike doesn't have electric bikes, just fairly indestructible* "normal" ones.

      * That still get trashed in many UK cities.

      1. Stoneshop Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: Chinese bikes already here

        just fairly indestructible* "normal" ones.

        Sounds like a challenge to the average yobbo.

      2. BobProton

        Re: Chinese bikes already here

        Ofo pulled out of Sheffield after a short time.

        They thought it was a good idea to put the GPS tracker in the locking mechanism.

        Doubt think I ever saw more than 2 which still had the locks on and weren't being used by local chavs or in the canal, up a tree, painted pink or on a scrap van.

        Not sure if that's a problem with the bikes or Sheffield mind you

    4. JohnOates

      Re: Chinese bikes already here

      Well I'm currently living in Madrid where the bleeding things are everywhere...

      1. Chris G Silver badge

        Re: Chinese bikes already here

        Ebikes are also showing up in Valencia too.

        I find it odd as both Valencia and Madrid have excellent Metro systems, that's all I ever use when in either city.

    5. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: Chinese bikes already here

      There are loads of them in London as well including of course TfL's Boris Bikes. Über I believe are the first to offer electric bikes.

    6. ibmalone Silver badge

      Re: Chinese bikes already here

      Lime and Uber are renting electric assisted bikes, Ofo and Mobike are also in London (or were, apparently Ofo are pulling out of London after previously pulling out of Oxford), but rent normal bikes.

      1. James R Grinter

        Re: Chinese bikes already here

        Ofo went ages ago. Any you see now are in the hands of local kids and scallies.

  7. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Happy

    I was born in Islington

    Escaped at the ripe old age of about 2 and I've not been back since.

    Nuff sed?

    1. Semtex451 Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: I was born in Islington

      Tis possible, I'll warrant, to be yet more posh than thou.

    2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: I was born in Islington

      Islington?

      Oh yes that was where Tony Blair lived before he became PM.

      Remember those staged shots of Mrs Blair?

      If there ever was a blot on the landscape of the UK, it is Islington.

      {I have to admit living there for a bit in 1973 bit I escaped to Finsbury Park}

      1. FrogsAndChips Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: I was born in Islington

        that was where Tony BlairBoris Johnson lived before he became PM.

        T,FTFY

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: I was born in Islington

          It’s also where Douglas Adams lived and where Arthur once went to a very nice party, met some very nice people and a very nice young lady that he totally failed to get off with.

          1. Gonzo wizard
            Go

            Re: I was born in Islington

            Worth also mentioning the estate agents, Hotblack Desiato. Had to look again the first time I saw them. No idea if they inspired Douglas or he inspired them. Have to say I’ve never seen them closed for a year for tax reasons. So far.

            1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

              Re: I was born in Islington

              I believe it's the former but it's such a gloriously improbable name that you could be forgiven for thinking it was the latter.

        2. katrinab Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: I was born in Islington

          And Jeremy Corbyn.

    3. Christoph Silver badge

      Re: I was born in Islington

      Ah yes, the "Socialist Republic of Islington".

      Where they spent all the local council's money on important things like international politics, rather than trivia like fixing gigantic potholes in the roads (which I could avoid because I'd learned and memorised where they were, despite only driving through there once a month).

      1. Chris G Silver badge

        Re: I was born in Islington

        The best thing about Islington is, it's over 1300 Km from me.

        When I lived in South London, I used to have to go up through Islington regularly, as far as I know some of the potholes had been in the roads since the sixties and are likely still there.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I was born in Islington

          Grade II listed potholes.

  8. MiguelC Silver badge

    They're already available in Brussels and Berlin and have been aound in Lisbon at least since since March.

    And as you can just lock them anywhere (the lock just need to be put in place, no need to lock it to anything), lots of them are just left on sidewalks.

    Not as bad as all those fucking e-scooters laying all over the place, but that may be just because there are less bikes than scooter (for now...)

    1. Gavin Chester
      Facepalm

      Hmmm

      Isn't that a bit of a fail?

      If the miscreant can just lock it to itself and not using any solid object, then whats to stop them going back a few mins later to put it in a metal van a drive it off for tinkering and disabling the GPS/Comms so getting a free electric bike.

      I heard it happened a lot to the electric scooters, (they get picked up and the mainboard replaced for a few tens of pounds) , and to some extent the un-powered bikes, but the bikes re cheap, heavy and not as desirable as an electric bike would be..

      1. Stoneshop Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Isn't that a bit of a fail?

        Err, no.

        It's actually a complete fail. A full-fledged one, a fail totality. Undiluted, not missing any parts.

        1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

          Re: Isn't that a bit of a fail?

          I'm sure they'll be missing plenty of parts, once London's finest have figured out how to avoid trackers. Meanwhile, on my way back from town, I saw a horde of lil delivery robots trundling merrily around! If one could borrow a couple, might be able to corrupt them into becoming electric skates.

        2. slartybartfast

          Re: Isn't that a bit of a fail?

          And UBER have the customer's credit card details, if they fancy blaming them for the stolen bike.

    2. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
      Pint

      Fewer

      "...there are less bikes than scooter..."

  9. noboard

    Where does the £25 go?

    I hope it's to the council rather than Uber, but I fear it's a nice way for Uber to make some money for a change.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Provision for the disabled ?

    That's it really. Ablelist cockwombles.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Provision for the disabled ?

      Yup, I saw that too.

      I guess 3 people don't like the truth.

    2. Korev Silver badge

      Re: Provision for the disabled ?

      Out of interest, AC, what kind of provision would you like to see?

      1. Korev Silver badge

        Re: Provision for the disabled ?

        Other than suggesting to their users to leave the bike so wheelchairs (as well as prams & pushchairs) can get along the pavement.

  11. FrogsAndChips Silver badge

    Weird pricing model

    Bus fare is £1.50 for 1 hour with unlimited transfers. Uber-bike is only cheaper if you use it for 4-5 minutes. This covers a distance that I'll happily walk for free, unless I'm in a serious rush - and if so I may prefer running rather than wasting precious minutes in search of a bike that may not be there.

    1. Steve 53

      Re: Weird pricing model

      Yes, but I have to wait for a bus, and on the route I regularly bike rent on there are no bus routes which take me all that close.

      1. Nick Kew

        Re: Weird pricing model

        And who wouldn't rather be out in the open and moving along than stuck in some bus waiting to move the next car-length?

        Buses have their time and place, but they're rarely much use in city traffic.

      2. Aitor 1 Silver badge

        Re: Weird pricing model

        What about owning a folding bike? for 850 pounds you get an excellent one.. and always available.

        1. Steve 53

          Re: Weird pricing model

          I actually have a Brompton. They're not particularly heavy as folding bikes go, but the weight is still substantial.

          It's not worth the faf of dragging it through Waterloo station and bank, then around with me for the evening. I'd rather just pay a couple of quid to rent an bike for the short section where it makes sense.

    2. Nick Kew

      Re: Weird pricing model

      Bus fare is £1.50 for 1 hour with unlimited transfers.

      In London? I thought you were supposed to be expensive! Why can't we have that?

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: Weird pricing model

        Khaaaaaaannnnnn!!!!

      2. Def Silver badge

        Re: Weird pricing model

        When I lived in the UK, I always used to complain about the prices in London.

        I live just outside Oslo now. London by comparison is cheap as chips. A one hour ticket for me is around £3.50, and the beer when you get there is more than six times that (assuming a reasonable hourly consumption rate).

        1. katrinab Silver badge

          Re: Weird pricing model

          And unlike most other cities, it is 1 hour until the time you board the last bus. You can board one bus, board another 59 minutes later, and travel on it to the terminus however long that takes.

          1. CountCadaver Bronze badge

            Re: Weird pricing model

            Lucky you, Stagecoach in my area (NE Scotland) have a monopoly on bus services, so a single ticket to next town over (<6 miles and 10 minutes) costs around £2.50, a return is £5, but their "dayrider" is £4....shame the day rider doesn't go far, and the next extension of range is quite a bit more.

            I can go from Dundee to Glasgow return on the train for not much more....

    3. slartybartfast

      Re: Weird pricing model

      A win-win pricing model for UBER. They can charge £25 more for 'crap parking' and the customer has little way of challenging this charge if they think it's unfair.

      Also, I can get to my friends house in South London by Tube and Overground if I avoid zone 1 for £1.50 each way. No surprise £25 charge for 'crap parking'.

  12. indigomm

    Will soon be like Paris

    We've already got Lime, Mobike and Boris bikes in London. It's soon going to get like Paris where there are just piles of electric bikes, scooters, Velibs all over the pavement.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Will soon be like Paris

      Singapore had a worse abandoned bike problem than Paris last time I visited...

    2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

      Re: Will soon be like Paris

      Hope not - they can keep their pavements full of doggie-doos

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not precisely sure

    About the old Pb-acid powered "twist and go" variety: this model is supposed to have a sensor that only engages the motor when you pedal but it does not work all of the time and the batteries are also old and clapped out despite being replaced not long ago with "standby use only" ones.

    The speed limiter however does work, and they were legal in 2006 when originally sold.

    Incidentally if anyone knows of a source for brake cables , back light assembly and calipers let me know.

    https://www.axcess-electric-bikes.co.uk/news/twist-and-go-electric-bikes/

  14. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Don't these qualify as a motorised vehicle? If so you would need to wear a crash helmet. I had one of those French bikes with a 20cc engine over the front wheel. I had to wear a crash helmet even though it was slow enough to be overtaken by an electric milk float.

    P.S. I would never open an account with the scumbags that are Uber.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      That's why they are limited to 15mph. Any faster than that any they would qualify as a motorised vehicle.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Canal fodder

    Do they even have canals in London?

    1. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: Canal fodder

      Yes. The Regents Canal goes through Islington. There are other canals in other parts of London.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Canal fodder

      There appears to be about 13 of them.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Canal fodder

      There's also the Far Canal.

    4. Francis Boyle Silver badge

      Re: Canal fodder

      Let this nice* man introduce them to you.

      *likable but extremely geeky

  16. Velv Silver badge
    Go

    Next logical step

    Gig economy delivery “drivers” will no longer have their own transport.

    They simply accept a delivery job, pick up the nearest hire bike, pick up the delivery, maybe swapping bikes, reach destination and un-hire bike, deliver. No need to make investment in your own bike and spend time and money finding somewhere safe to lock it on each job.

    Not really a practical or cheap option yet, but give it time.

    1. JulieM Silver badge

      Re: Next logical step

      I have seen first-hand evidence of this: Deliveroo drivers on rented bikes.

      All it's going to take now is going to be for someone to introduce sleeping pods that you rent for the night, and we will end up with full-on gig economy accommodation.

  17. Aitor 1 Silver badge

    Gangs

    So, the BBC can´t keep their cameras safe in the damn center with security guards, and these people think that they will keep the bikes safe from gangs of thieves.

    I have seen quite a few recovery videos of expensive cars and motorbikes in London that had tracking devices installed.. and the policiy quite a few times does not bother to spend time to catch the thieves or recover an 80.000 car (sorry, no unit available).. good luck with the bikes!

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019