Cycle hire firm Mobike is suspending its service throughout Newcastle and Gateshead.
The cycle hire firm will depart Tyneside from May as it looks to increase the sustainability of its UK business.
The move is believed to be in relation to vandalism issues in the area, with a significant number of rides dumped in the River Tyne.
Jan Van der Ven, general manager of Mobike Western Europe said: “We have enjoyed serving Newcastle and Gateshead and have received great support from the people of the city, the city councils and Northumbria Police. However, in order to increase the sustainability of our UK business we will focus on developing our operations in London during the rest of the year, and therefore – regrettably – we will be suspending services in Newcastle for now.
“This is hopefully not a final farewell. We plan to remain engaged with the city councils of Newcastle and Gateshead, as well as the local business community, and we will remain open to revisit our decision in future.”
Mobike will now focus on its services throughout London, Oxford, and Cambridge. It confirmed that it will refund Newcastle and Gateshead users’ deposits and Mobike wallet balances during May. Users will not be required to apply for refunds – balances will be automatically returned.
450 bikes were introduced in Newcastle back in 2017, before a further 500 in February 2018. An additional 200 were brought to Gateshead in June.