In a written parliamentary answer the transport minister Jesse Norman has said the Department for Transport is to host a meeting between dockless bike share firms and local authorities. The number one item on the agenda will be a national operational standard for dockless bike companies.
"Department for Transport officials have met representatives from most of the major dockless bike-share companies operating in the UK, as well as from some local authorities and boroughs where they are trading," said Norman just before Christmas.
"The question of a possible national standard has been raised at several of these meetings. The Department is also inviting various stakeholders to a workshop in January where this matter will be discussed further."
In an earlier parliamentary answer Norman had said any national standard for bike share schemes would "ensure that they are introduced and managed appropriately."
Transport for London introduced a dockless code of practice in September. And Bikeplus, the informal governing body for bike sharing in the UK, released a "vision" for good working practices for dockless operators in November. This recommends a "need for regulation rather than individual city guidelines."
Most dockless companies say they would welcome a national standard.
Ofo UK’s general manager Joseph Seal-Driver told the Financial Times:
“It’s a bit of a grey area in the UK. There’s no straight primary legislation from the government that says local authorities can regulate this type of bike-sharing service.”
In 2017 BikeBiz.com has carried more than sixty news stories on the sector – it is perhaps the most significant recent development in global cycling.