Hundreds of scorned bikes heading for the scrapheap

WHEELS: Andy Proper, Street Scene supervisor, in the bike compound of Florence Park, Cowley

WHEELS: Andy Proper, Street Scene supervisor, in the bike compound of Florence Park, Cowley Buy this photo

First published in News by

NEARLY 1,000 abandoned bicycles have been tagged with warnings by Oxford City Council over the past two years.

Of those, 425 have been sent to scrap, with 382 claimed by owners and about 100 donated to workshops to be repaired.

Under the scheme, the city council and the police have been working together since 2012 to clear the city of cycles left chained to lampposts, stands and railings.

All bikes reported to be abandoned are tagged with a warning on a label, then removed if not claimed within seven days.

If there is anything about the bike that gives a clue to the identity of the owner, efforts will be made to contact them.

The Oxford Times:

  • Tagged bikes on the corner of Queen Street and St Aldate’s in Oxford city centre

If it has not been removed it is taken to the council’s depot in Marsh Road, and if no claim is made after six weeks the bicycle is taken to Broken Spoke Bike Co-op, recycled as scrap metal or used in other recycling schemes.

Queen Street and Oxford train station are two of the hotspots for abandoned bikes in the city, many with no saddles, rusty, and with flat tyres.

Cameron Quinn lives in Oxford and regularly cycles around the city.

The 26-year-old, who works at Magdalen College, said: “I find it difficult to find sanctioned spaces with a lock-up.

“Sometimes there’s no choice and if you make sure it’s not in the public’s way you just have to lock it up on the street.”

Cyclox, which represents Oxford cyclists, believes the authorities are doing a good job of taking care of abandoned bikes.

Chairman Simon Hunt said: “It is infuriating when you go to lock your bike up and you find there is a rusty one with no saddle and a flat tyre blocking it.”

“What needs to be done is getting the public to report the abandoned bikes in the first place.”

Figures from the council show so far this year a total of 218 bikes have been tagged and 106 have gone to scrap. Over the past two years only 98 bikes have been donated to workshops.

Cassiope Sydoriak, co-founder and executive director of Broken Spoke, said: “We have an agreement with the council where we can collect the bikes, take them to be repaired and sell them on for a reasonable price.”

“There are so many abandoned bikes in Oxford.

“They are just on top of each other.”

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Comments (2)

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9:11am Thu 21 Aug 14

yabbadabbadoo256 says...

disgusting waste.. why were they not sold at public auction?
disgusting waste.. why were they not sold at public auction? yabbadabbadoo256
  • Score: 0

9:50am Thu 21 Aug 14

Myron Blatz says...

Abandoned or stolen bikes have always been a problem, especially when thousands of factory workers (when Oxford still had proper factories) would cycle to and from work. Today most of those factories have gone, but it's still quite amazing just how many people ise bikes across the City. Now, its not just kids and students, but tourists and the modern day workers and commuters who prefer bikes to over-priced buses in getting around Oxford. Added to which, the growth in people being more health and eco-aware, which all adds up to more bikes being used and either lost or stolen. The problem isn't helped by many people not security-tagging or post-coding their bikes for easy identification, nor the seeming rise in petty-crime of bike just as a 'lark' or for profit. Sadly, more people using the new Oxford Tube coaches to London will have to leave their bikes chained to a lampost near the bus stop in Oxford, as apparently Stagecoach decided to go for more space for passengers per coach, than their bikes or luggage! Nor is it clear whether the new, recently introduced Chiltern trains will offer more space for bikes. One things for sure, though - with Oxford City Council encouraging more people to use bikes (does the new Cllr Henwood cycle, I wonder?) then more bikes means the potential for more lost, stolen and abandoned bikes around Oxford. Yet, there seem few safe and secure City Council bike parks around Oxford - City of Internanational Class Toilets and dreaming City councillors!
Abandoned or stolen bikes have always been a problem, especially when thousands of factory workers (when Oxford still had proper factories) would cycle to and from work. Today most of those factories have gone, but it's still quite amazing just how many people ise bikes across the City. Now, its not just kids and students, but tourists and the modern day workers and commuters who prefer bikes to over-priced buses in getting around Oxford. Added to which, the growth in people being more health and eco-aware, which all adds up to more bikes being used and either lost or stolen. The problem isn't helped by many people not security-tagging or post-coding their bikes for easy identification, nor the seeming rise in petty-crime of bike just as a 'lark' or for profit. Sadly, more people using the new Oxford Tube coaches to London will have to leave their bikes chained to a lampost near the bus stop in Oxford, as apparently Stagecoach decided to go for more space for passengers per coach, than their bikes or luggage! Nor is it clear whether the new, recently introduced Chiltern trains will offer more space for bikes. One things for sure, though - with Oxford City Council encouraging more people to use bikes (does the new Cllr Henwood cycle, I wonder?) then more bikes means the potential for more lost, stolen and abandoned bikes around Oxford. Yet, there seem few safe and secure City Council bike parks around Oxford - City of Internanational Class Toilets and dreaming City councillors! Myron Blatz
  • Score: 0
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