Operator to act after e-bikes block pavements

ELECTRIC bike and scooter operator Tier has said it will change how it parks its vehicles after large numbers were left blocking pavements in the Downend area.

Tier took over the West of England ‘micro-mobility’ service from previous operator Voi six months ago.

Its fleet includes 3,000 e-scooters, e-bikes and e-cargo bikes, which can be hired using an app.

The company introduced e-bikes in December last year and has recently started parking them in the Downend area in large numbers, as it prepares to further expand its fleet.

Up to ten bikes at a time have been left on pavements around Downend’s high street area and in Bromley Heath, making it difficult for mobility scooter, wheelchair and pushchair users to pass and sometimes completely blocking access to drop kerbs at junctions.

Tier says it has been “adding parking bays” and a feature on its app to help users park e-scooters or e-bikes appropriately.

But the large groups of bikes have been left by Tier staff, rather than customers.

Pictures of e-bikes left blocking pavements have been taken by Bromley Heath Neighbourhood Watch.

Coordinator Bill Crocker said: “We’ve been monitoring things and noted numbers of scooters and bikes deployed were limited up until recently.

“Then there was a big jump, and we discovered the company itself is perpetuating a problem issue.”

The Voice sent pictures of the parked bikes to Tier.

A Tier spokesperson said: “I shared them with the local team, who have made adjustments to the volume of vehicles that will be deployed at each location. 

“We have conducted a further review of parking bays in the area and have made similar adjustments for all bays.

“The information displaying the ‘cap’ for each bay was too high, so we have corrected that across the board. We have also communicated this with our local operations team, so deployments blocking pavements should not occur going forward.”

Mr Crocker said the neighbourhood watch group had worked with Downend & Bromley Heath Parish Council and the West of England Combined Authority to identify good places to park e-scooters and bikes in the area, but had received “dismissive” and “underwhelming” responses to its suggestions from WECA.

The Voice has asked Metro Mayor Dan Norris to comment.

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