As most Highways Agencies have been struggling to keep our roads and footpaths open, the 'bicycle police' at Brighton & Hove City Council have been busy investigating bicycles.
The above picture shows the bicycle parking rack which is located opposite our Brighton Dutch Bike Shop. I believe that all the above pictured bikes are owned by local residents and used regularly. Understandably, the recent treacherous road conditions have meant that few have ventured out on their cycles, and perhaps give the appearance of being uncared for, but is this enough reason for Brighton & Hove Council to slap a legal Notice on your bicycle informing you your trusted cycle is now 'under investigation' and if you don't contact them will be removed and disposed of?
Compare this to the above picture, which I took during a recent visit to Amsterdam where literally every avaialble railing is home to bicycle parking. They've even provided a barge for overflow bicycle parking and no bicycles are 'under investigation.'
At the same time Brighton & Hove City Council slapped notices on everyone's bicycle - the latest edition of the council's own publication - City News - fell on our shop doormat. A feature on page 24 caught my attention as photographed above. If you have difficultly reading it, here's what is says -
"Abandoned bicycles are being refurbished and sold in aid of charity. The Council's Highways enforcement team collects the bikes around the city and hands them to Sussex Central YMCA, which has trained Tariq Al-Mussawi to repair them. The bikes are sold on ebay and at the YMCA Centre at Chalk Pit, 213 Mile Oak Road, Portslade. Phone 01273 885505 or visit www.sussexcentralymca.org.uk. Money will go to expanding the scheme.
Where does the line between 'charity' and theft get drawn?