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Ofo bike share scheme set to launch in Cambridge, but council insists it's only a test

By Ben Comber

ofo bikes
ofo bikes

The Beijing-based business have announced intentions to bring their yellow bikes to the city.

Bike-sharers Ofo have announced intentions to release their yellow bikes in Cambridge tomorrow, but the council are insisting that it is not satisfied with the information the firm has given them about the scheme.

Cllr Lewis Herbert, leader of Cambridge City Council, has said that despite meeting with council officers in March and again with himself last week, Ofo have still not provided enough information on how they will manage their planned scheme in Cambridge and that any launch this week should be viewed only as a test.

Cllr Herbert said: “I met with Ofo last week, together with Cambridge’s MP, Daniel Zeichner, and there were a number of serious questions which they have still not answered well enough to give confidence that their business plan and operating procedures will work in Cambridge.

“We want to increase cycling levels in the city but bike sharing schemes must also be managed in a way that is appropriate for Cambridge and especially our historic city centre.

“Ofo’s bikes are freestanding and there is a clear risk that they may simply add to street clutter and cause an obstruction to other cyclists and pedestrians if they cannot be locked to bike racks, or even that they could simply be abandoned anywhere across the city.

“They have not yet made clear what staff and resources they will have in place to ensure a well managed scheme, how they will deal with anyone who hires one but abandons it thoughtlessly, or even if the bikes will be well serviced and have lights.

“If they bring their bikes into Cambridge this week as expected,even in a small number, it must be seen only as a test with an opportunity for a detailed review after with council officers and all unanswered concerns fully addressed.”


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