The Just Eat cycles have been suspended from Victoria Park again after being attacked by vandals and thieves.
Users of the scheme took to social media to vent their frustration and suggest alternate sites for the bikes nearby.
“They were ideally placed in Victoria Park but due to the mindless vandals you have had to move them. Sad state of affairs indeed,” posted one user.
Bosses apologised for having to withdraw and welcomed any ideas on safer sites for the bikes.
“Unfortunately we will be suspending our new Victoria Park cycle hire point,” they posted on their Facebook page.
“We do apologise for any inconvenience. We are looking for an alternative location and are open to suggestions. Thanks for your ongoing support and feedback.”
Suggested alternate sites included outside the Bridge 8 Hub and Paddle Cafe on Calder Crescent or on Craighall Road.
“Don’t panic! We are currently working on installing another cycle hire point very soon,” replied Just Eat Cycles.
Green councillor Gavin Corbett said: “Obviously, I am disappointed because Victoria Park is a great location and right on the north Edinburgh cycle path network.
“I am not sure what such mindless vandalism has achieved other than the loss of a local facility. If anyone knows who might be responsible do contact the police.
“However, I think we’ve all known that there would be some ups and downs in the early roll-out of the bike hire scheme.
“It will take a while to get all the locations absolutely right and it is better for the bikes to be moved somewhere where they won’t face the same problems. There are plenty other places keen to host them.”
An initial 200 branded Just Eat Cycles were introduced from September 17 at sites across the city, increasing to 1,000 bikes by the end of the year and more to follow in 2019.
Some questioned the tie in with a fastfood multinational for sending mixed messages on healthy lifestyles.
But bosses heralded the sponsorship deal for keeping rental levels down to £3-a-day for hourly shuttle rides across the Capital.
The Evening News reported last week how a major refit saw all 200 bikes have their seat clamps replaced amid safety fears.
Riders reported seats suddenly collapsing downwards as they rode the bikes along Capital streets.
Charles Graham, Serco’s General Manager of Just Eat Cycles, said 18 new sites have been set-up across the city in the last week.
He added: “We have temporarily suspended operations at our Cycle Hire Point in Victoria Park due to vandalism to some of the bikes and the docks.
“This is the second location that we have installed at Victoria Park, having previously shut down our first location due to vandalism and theft.
“In response to this, we are working with the City of Edinburgh Council, the park community group as well as local councillors to find a new, more suitable, location in the area.
“We are conscious of the great demand for Just Eat Cycles by residents, and we would like to thank the community for their ongoing support.”
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