Lane Cove Council to Impound Share Bikes

Have you seen the red and yellow share bikes around Lane Cove?  In theory a great idea, but most of the abandoned bikes do not have a helmet with them.  This means that they are less likely to be used.

What is the Problem?

The problem is that the bikes do not have to be returned to a docking station.  The operators did not consult with local councils prior to implementing the scheme.  This has seen share bikes being dumped in parks and on footpaths.  Bikes littering the streets are trip hazards for pedestrians.  You can see from our cover photo that some people leave them in the wrong place.

The Lane Cove Council acknowledges that the scheme does offer a user-friendly means of cycling.  However, the lack of regulation or guidelines has resulted in an increase in road-side clutter, affecting safety and amenity for pedestrians and the community generally.

The issue is worse in the inner city suburbs.  Lane Cove Council has only received a few complaints with three bikes collected and impounded by Council Rangers in the last six months. Lane Cove Council is concerned that as the scheme grows in popularity the use of share bikes in Lane Cove will increase over time.

Bikes Left Outside the Lane Cove Golf Course

Lane Cove Council’s Solution for Share Bikes

In December 2017, six Sydney councils devised the Inner Sydney bike share guidelines. The guidelines set out minimum standards and expectations for bike share operators.

In February 2018, the Northern Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (NSROC) Bike Share Working Group met to discuss the need to produce guidelines within NSROC Councils. The NSROC Bike Share Working Group agreed that:-

  • A consistent set of guidelines across member councils would likely assist with compliance by operators;
  • It’s open for member councils to adopt the Inner Sydney bike share guidelines in the interim; and
  • The bike share working group and NSROC’s representative will contribute a consolidated set of feedback into the review of the inner Sydney Council bike share guidelines.

The guidelines include controls and guidelines issues including:-

  • Customer Safety and Conduct;
  • Safe Bike Placement;
  • Faulty, Damaged or Misplaced Bikes;
  • Legal and Insurance;
  • Data sharing;
  • Council staff and access to Bikes;
  • Collection and Relocation of Faulty or Damaged Bikes;
  • Unused Bikes;
  • Ceasing of Operations; and
  • Review of Guidelines.

If a member of the public or public landholder reports damaged, faulty, abandoned or inappropriately parked bikes the following timeframes apply.

Incident Timeframe Action
 Dangerously placed 3 hours Where a bike is causing an unreasonable hazard (i.e. parked across a road, carriageway etc.) the operator will relocate the bike within two hours.


Council/public landholder may remove and impound the bike at any time to make area safe.  The operator will be contacted at the time of any such action.

 Bike reported as unsafe Immediate (upon verification)


1-7 days (depending on severity)

Upon verification of unsafe bike, operator will immediately deactivate bike.


Operator will check for safety/damage/faults and remove the bike from the public area.

 Significantly damaged Immediate (upon verification)



1-7 days (depending on severity)


Upon verification of damaged bike, operator will immediately deactivate bike.


Operator will check for safety/damage/faults and remove the bike from the public area

 Inappropriate bike density 1-7 days (depending on severity)


Operator will be proactive in the redistribution of bikes
 Illegally parked 1-7 days (unless escalated by council or public landholders) Dependent on location of bike. (For e.g. private property, motorcycle or disabled parking)


Unused Bikes

The following timeframes will help keep bikes moving and not left in one location for too long.

Timeframe Action
1-7 days No action. It is expected that bikes may not be used for a period of up to 7 days, particularly bikes left in quiet streets.
7-10 Days The operator must relocate the bike or offer customer incentives to ride the bike to another destination.
11-14 days If the bike has not been moved at the end of 11 days, a council/public landholder may instruct the operator to relocate the bike.
15+ days The bike may be retrieved and impounded by council/public landholder. A fee may be payable for the release of the bike.
28 days after impoundment The bike may be recycled by the local council.


Should these guidelines not be complied with, Council will continue to impounds bikes as required, and charge an appropriate fine and/or impounding release fees.

Reporting Bikes

An easy way to report abandoned bike is via  Snap Send Solve – This app is designed to help you quickly and easily report issues to local government. Take a picture of the bike, upload it with the app and it is sent to the Lane Cove Council using GPS data.

Report a Bike to OBike

Ready Go (red bikes)
Contact details are not available on the website.
Ofo bikes
You can contact Ofo here.

What do you think?  Have you used the bikes?

Do you have a local issue you would like help with? ITC is here to help just email us at [email protected]

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