Of the 161,000 bikes confiscated by officials in the Netherlands’ biggest 20 cities last year, over 100,000 were never picked up by their owners, the AD says on Tuesday.
In Haarlemmermeer, for example, officials removed 462 wrongly parked or abandoned bikes and just six were collected, the AD says. In Rotterdam, 22% of bikes are picked up while in The Hague and Utrecht around one-third are reunited with their owners.
Amsterdam leads the way in removing bikes. Last year 70,000 were taken to the city’s massive depot in the western harbour. The AD does not say how many were eventually claimed.
The cycling association Fietsersbond said many people think their bikes have been stolen and don’t bother to report them or check out the ‘lost bike’ parks.
In addition, the association says many local authorities are too quick to remove bikes and says owners should make a formal complaint if they feel the rules have been broken.
Many of the bikes which are not picked up are sold for scrap. Others are sold to bike traders for refurbishment and resale.