THE vast majority of people in Oxford have said they are delighted to see the withdrawal of dockless bikes from the city centre.

One of the last remaining dockless bike firms in the city has now stopped hiring out its cycles.

At one point, many felt that Oxford was overrun with the colourful bikes which people could hire using an app, but the number has significantly reduced and now they are difficult to spot in the city centre, although one company is pledging to make a comeback.

Read more: Jobs to go as Oxford Playhouse fights for survival

In an Oxford Mail poll, which 323 readers responded to, 78 per cent said they were glad to see the back of the high-tech bikes while only 22 per cent said they were sorry to see them go.

Oxford Mail:

John Maclean commented: "Covid has put an end to sharing a bicycle anyway – sweaty handlebar grips and a damp saddle – no thanks."

Another website user, Going_Digital, added: "They were never going to be a success.

"They were just dumped in the most inappropriate places such as blocking pavements.

Read more: Visitors allowed to see family in hospital from next week

"They were always going to be the target of vandalism and theft. I often saw them being used by youths that had snapped the lock off."

Oxford Mail:

Greentea9 said: "If there was a system similar to that in London these might have worked better. Instead a lot of them were left blocking pavements and I've even seen a couple dumped in a stream."

The three dockless bike firms that operated in Oxford were Ofo, Pony and Mobike, but demand has fallen and they have not been noticeable during the coronavirus lockdown.

Labour city councillor Susanna Pressel said Beijing-based Mobike has now stopped hiring out bikes in the city.

She said: "It must mean the end of dockless bikes in Oxford.

Oxford Mail:

“I did get quite a lot of complaints about the dockless bikes, especially at first when there were so many of them.

Read again: A gallery of dockless bike parking in Oxford

"Unfortunately, a few inconsiderate users sometimes dumped them in places where they got in the way of passers-by. I believe quite a lot were also vandalised, which is a shame.

Oxford Mail:

"They would have been particularly useful just now, when the demand for bikes is greatly outstripping the supply.

"If anyone has an old bike that they no longer need, now is the time to sell it, with long waiting lists for new and second-hand bikes.

"However, that also means that bike theft has increased a lot, so people need to make sure their bikes are registered and securely locked.”

Ms Pressel spoke out after she was contacted by a member of staff from Oxford Direct Services, which works on behalf of the council.

Read also: Popular walking routes get upgrades as hot weather returns

Abandoned vehicle officer Patrick Woods said in an email: "Just to inform you that the remaining dockless hire bike companies have ceased trading in Oxford, so from this point onwards, can we please collect any units we come across.

Oxford Mail:

"Suburban crews to leave any units collected beside my abandoned bike pound, and if units collected from the city centre could be taken to the Oxpens depot, I will either collect them myself or make arrangements to have them picked up by a response crew.

"Please do not dispose of any bikes, (regardless of condition), as I will need to record all their individual details, (prior to contacting the relevant companies, giving them a timeframe for collection), and a history of what ultimately happens to them."

Read more: Fancy a Pony bike ride in Oxford

Ofo withdrew from major cities including Oxford last year.

Oxford Mail:

Pony Bikes has a listed address in Cranham Street in Jericho.

A spokesman said: "Pony has paused the operation in Oxford during the winter in order to upgrade the fleet and provide the people of Oxford with the best quality bikes.

"Unfortunately, we are experiencing severe production delays because of the Covid situation.

"We should be able to launch the new fleet just after the summer.

"This new fleet will include our unique electric cargo bike called the double pony."

Read more: Hundreds of Mobikes appear outside Oxford Mail offices

In a statement Mobike said: "As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, we have reduced bike numbers significantly to protect the health of our users and in response to reduced demand.

Oxford Mail:

"Furthermore, there are currently no usable Mobikes (no active service) so we advise that you wait for updates regarding when our operations will be back in your city before making any in-app purchases or registering an account."