Today, Mobike, the bike sharing service, announced that that they would be pulling out of operating their system in Manchester due to theft and vandalism of their bicycles. You can read more about this sad, but very understandable decision in this article on The Guardian website.
A cyclist called Stephen Blundell has just shared The Guardian article to the Facebook page of the Leeds Cycling Campaign. He has added his own comment and I agree with every single word he writes:
“This is disappointing but not entirely unexpected. I suspect this is why Ofo abandoned their plan to come to Leeds. In European terms UK society is quite unique in its levels of moronic behaviour and barbarism, all following on from toxic choices made from the 1970s onwards to prioritise individual interests above those of society. On a similar note, if you have ever wondered why continental cycle paths and footways are not strewn with broken glass then the answer is simply because it is only in the UK that glass is smashed in the streets for recreational purposes.”
Well said that man. Thank-you for putting it so succinctly.
Another report in today’s Guardian; there’s a big connection, no?
(Photo credits: Stephen Blundell / Facebook, Paul Wasneski / Flickr / The Guardian)
Tragic really. It was such a great opportunity for Manchester (my home until recently) and a shame for all those who stood to benefit. I wonder whether it would have worked if more had been done to promote the benefits within the poorer and deprived areas neighbour’s the centre and to encourage ownership of the scheme? The buses in and out of town were always overcrowded and these bikes offered a good alternative and an opportunity for anyone who struggled to afford to travel within the city, but without outreach it probably looked like further gentrification. Maybe the Edinburgh scheme, about to launch I think, will have more luck.
Pretty much the same reason oBike pulled out of Melbourne. Most of them ended up in trees or the river – or the helmets got taken.
Also they made their profits (the deposit covered the small cost of the whole bike) and didn’t really care much for running a good service.