Operator's disappointment after vandals burn public hire e-bike in Peterborough

Public urged to contact police if they witness vandalism to e-bikes

Sunday, 31st July 2022, 5:00 am

The operator of Peterborough’s e-bikes for public hire scheme has voiced disappointment after vandals torched one of the cycles.

The scorched frame of the e-bike was found dumped in the Woodston area of the city last week.

Staff from operator Voi have since recovered and removed the e-bike.

The scorched frame of the vandalised e-bike found dumped in Woodston, Peterborough.

A spokesperson for Voi, which operates e-bikes and e-scooters for hire in cities across Europe, said: “It's disappointing to see one of our e-bikes damaged to this extent.

“We are against all acts of vandalism and continue to work closely with the local police.

“As always, we encourage anyone who witnesses vandalism against our vehicles to provide information to police by calling 101.

She added "With over 11,500 rides taken on Voi e-bikes to date, our service gives the local community a convenient, affordable and sustainable alternative to travel.

“Regrettably, the misconduct of a few individuals undermines the overall positive experience that many residents and visitors have when using our service."

Vandalism of the Voi e-bikes service in Peterborough has been a headache for the operator following the service’s launch at the start of 2021.

The service, which had provided 129 bikes for hire, was suspended for six months in October 2021 after a spate of vandalism including one incident in which 50 e-bikes were damaged. Thousands of pounds of damage were caused to the cycles.

The service, which is joint project between Voi, the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combind Authority and Peterborough City Council, was restored in March but with just 40 e-bikes stationed in groups at various locations around the city for public use.

Despite the vandalism Voi bosses say they have never considered ending the service in Peterborough.

Matthew Pencharz, the UK’s Head of Public Policy at Voi, has previously told the Peterborough Telegraph: “The attrition rate was unmanageable and we had to withdraw the service to fix it.”

“It is really important during the transition to net zero to go on offering safe, sustainable and affordable alternatives to using private cars.”

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