Ofo pulls out of launching dockless bike hire scheme in Leeds

The wheels have come off for plans to bring a fleet of more than 1,000 '˜scan and go' bicycles to Leeds.

Thursday, 12th July 2018, 11:21 am
Updated Monday, 16th July 2018, 5:09 pm
9 Jan 2018.....Ofo the worlds first dockless bike hire scheme expands into Sheffield. Picture Scott Merrylees

Ofo, the dockless bike company, announced earlier this year that it was set to launch a new scheme in Leeds on May 15.

The firm, which had already been operating in Sheffield, offers residents the chance to hire a three-speed bike at the click of a button, using a smartphone app.

Customers can then ride the bike anywhere in the city – and lock it again costing 50p for a 30-minute journey.

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But, despite bosses announcing their “delight” ahead of their arrival, the firm has now back-pedalled on its plan to bring the bikes Leeds.

Joseph Seal-Driver, general manager of Ofo UK, said: “We regret that we will no longer be launching in Leeds, following a new global strategy to focus on key markets. We are confident that the scheme would have worked extremely well in Leeds but have taken the difficult decision to instead target key cities such as London.”

It comes just days after the same firm announced its decision to axe its scheme of 1,000 bikes in Sheffield just six months after arriving in South Yorkshire.

A Leeds City Council spokesperson said: “We are extremely disappointed that Ofo has announced they will now not be going ahead with a public bike sharing scheme in Leeds.

“We have been informed that this is due to a global restructuring of the Ofo business which will not only impact proposed schemes in Leeds and other cities in the UK, but cities across the rest of the world.”