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Cardiff’s NextBike scheme closes due to vandalism

Cardiff’s bike share scheme is closing next month (january), after 3,000 bikes were vandalised or stolen.

The operator Nextbike previously suspended the service in Cardiff two years ago after months of vandalism, thefts and threats against its team.

Jess Strangward, regional operations manager, Nextbike by TIER, said: “It is sad that we have had to take the decision to close the Cardiff service as I know it was well used and liked by residents.

“Unfortunately, the rate of vandalism this year meant it was unfeasible for us to continue and offer a good service. We know the news will be disappointing to regular users and we can only apologise for that.

“We want to thank Cardiff and Vale Council, their residents, as well as our many partners for their support over the past five years.” 

The scheme was Nextbike’s most successful in the UK in terms of usage, with two million rentals across Cardiff and the Vale during its lifespan.

But regular incidents of vandalism and theft in Cardiff have forced the decision to close.

During the years Nextbike ran in Cardiff and the Vale, 3,000 bikes were stolen or vandalised, leaving only a third of the fleet available for use.

The Nextbike contract was due to end in early 2025 and Cardiff Council says it had already started work on what a new, and updated scheme, might look like.

A feasibility study is looking at schemes across the globe to understand improvements in security and technology, while reviewing various suppliers and operating and sponsorship models.

Cardiff Council cabinet member Dan De’Ath said: “The Cardiff and Vale cycle-hire scheme has, despite its challenges, been an immensely popular scheme with a significant number of users, and we thank its dedicated and loyal customers for their support.

“I want them to know that it is our intention to see a new cycle hire scheme return to the city as soon as possible”

Vandalism was also stated as a key factor in the closure of similar schemes around the country, including in Sunderland, Bristol, Leicester, and Dundee.

People who have bought memberships should contact customer service on info@nextbike.co.uk. The council says they will be “proactively refunded” by the end of January. 

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