Voi has been forced to pull its shared e-bike scheme in Peterborough due to high levels of vandalism.
Swedish shared micromobility operator Voi has run a hire e-bike scheme, in partnership with Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority and Peterborough City Council, for the past two years.
But in a statement released on Monday, 3rd January, Voi announced that it would be withdrawing its e-bikes from the area due “to the actions of a few,” the Peterborough Telegraph reports.
Jim Hubbard, senior public policy manager for Voi UK, said: “Following a joint decision between Voi and the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, it is with sincere regret that our e-bike rental service is being permanently removed from Peterborough this week.
“We’re incredibly disappointed that the actions of a few have tarnished the overwhelmingly positive experience that many people have experienced when using our e-bike service.
“However, due to persistent acts of criminality, including arson and vandalism since launching in 2020, the cost has rendered the scheme unsustainable.
“Despite regularly reporting criminal activity to the police and working incredibly hard to find solutions that allowed the service to be relaunched earlier this year, our fleet has required an unsustainable level of maintenance and repair.
“Around 40 e-bikes will be removed from the street of Peterborough this week but approximately 70 vehicles have been damaged beyond repair.
“Despite these challenges, people have made nearly 13,500 journeys using our service and replaced an estimated 5,500 car journeys.
“Our service remains exceptionally popular across the UK as the demand for Voi’s shared e-bike and e-scooter services continues to grow, including in nearby places such as Cambridge, Northamptonshire as well as Oxford.
“We would like to thank all our riders for their support and apologise for the inconvenience and disappointment that we know this announcement will cause.”
Voi launched e-bikes in Peterborough in early 2021 with 20 bikes, later upping the number of machines available to 37.
By the end of 2021, the number was up to 129 bikes in operation, but the service was temporarily suspended in early 2022 following a spike in vandalism incidents.
The service was restored in March, but following a continuation of the damage to the bikes, Voi have now pulled the scheme.