Bicycle-share company ofo aims to introduce up to 3,000 of its bikes to Cambridge

PUBLISHED: 17:38 20 June 2018 | UPDATED: 18:03 20 June 2018

Rows of yellow OFO station-free shared bikes

Rows of yellow OFO station-free shared bikes

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It’s significantly more than the city council was expecting.

Ofo wants 3,000 of its bikes for hire on the streets of Cambridge.

Matthew Thomas-Keeping, ofo’s operations manager for Cambridge, said: “What we really want is to see more bikes for people in the city. We’re looking at 3,000 bikes in Cambridge as a good number to service the whole city and some of the outlying business parks that have been coming to us to ask for our service.”

Speaking to BBC Cambridgeshire, Cambridge city councillor Kevin Blencowe, lead for planning policy and transport, said the initial plan was for the city to have a limit of 1,000 bikes owned collectively by schemes such as the Beijing company.

But there is no legislation in place to prevent any firms bringing more bikes into the city.

Cllr Blencowe said: “I think the theory was about 1,000 [bikes] in total. They have to be put somewhere, they need to have sensible locations to start from and that was the figure that was discussed last time I had a meeting about it.

“There are one or two other operators thinking of doing the same thing in the city. It’s quite an ambitious target, I think I need to have a discussion with cycling officers and other people about that intention.

“Strictly speaking there’s no legislation controlling this. There is a voluntary code of conduct that ofo has signed up to and that was drawn up to give us sensible criteria for them to conduct business in the city and it puts some onus on them to manage it properly.”

The firm is thought to have around 500 bikes in Cambridge at present, although many have been spotted further afield.

The first ofo bikes arrived in Cambridge in April 2017 with a trial of 20 bikes. This number jumped to 100 in July 2017 and there were 450 by April of this year.

The bikes are free-standing and have a lock that is released by using an app.

Cambridge City Council introduced a new code of conduct of bike-share schemes like Ofo’s in April.

Read more

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