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Hard-up Aberdeen City Council? How much did the Electric Bikes fiasco cost?

Updated: Apr 15


Only two weeks since posting this blog, Sharebike who have the contract with Aberdeen City Council to provide the bikes, have pulled out of the scheme. Allegedly, according to them, it is nothing to do with lack of users and vandalism but because they wish to leave the UK market. Well maybe they do wish to leave the UK market, but why? It's obvious - it's a loss-maker; the UK public (and specifically in this case, the Aberdeen public) aren't using them and the cost of vandalism and decay is excessive.

According to the Press and Journal. "Although the initial roll-out was hindered by vandalism and the uptake was slow, it has attracted thousands of users since". Thousands of users? You're having a laugh. I saw two in a year.

Apparently, last November, the operations coordinator for the project stated "there were around 10,000 people actively using the e-bikes, and they had finally become “part of the city”. In the words of Victor Meldrew "I don't believe it".

Once again, honesty is in short supply as companies and councillors seek to cover-up their costly bad decision-making and salvage their reputations.

This whole sorry tale is one of councillors sitting in warm, cosy offices fantasising about eco-friendly policies and changing the world, while the rest of the city's residents get on with real life and dealing with real Aberdeen weather.

It's just such a shame, that as ever, no matter how bad the decision-making, the public always has to stump up for the bill, and no one in the Council is held accountable.

Original Blog

Apparently the Council is hard up and not happy it cannot find the money to run basic Council Services.

Yet you have to ask how much the Council spent on red and white electric bikes that seem to litter the city everywhere, rusting away, and virtually no one ever using them?

I think in the space of over a year I have seen someone on one of these Council bikes twice.

If we imagine each bike cost £750 each (a conservative estimate), and the Council bought (or rents) 450 of them, then the Council spent £337,500 on this bike scheme.

However, that is only the cost of the bikes themselves. Presumably tens of thousands more was spent establishing the scheme, and even more continues to be poured into maintaining them (by paying Big Issue) for safety reasons.

And how much longer will they last? The ones I see regularly are rusting away in a pile somewhere, looking as if they will be all but obsolete in a couple of years time.

if only two people have ever ridden these bikes in a year, I reckon each ride must have cost approximately £1/4 a million each. That's not value for money in my eyes.

Will the Council ever give up its fantasy about kicking cars off the road and replacing them with bicycles? And if not, at what cost?

e-bikes in Aberdeen cancelled
e-Bikes no more since Mar 2024



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