Students may be to blame for the increasing number of bicycles being abandoned on the streets of Brighton and Hove.

Over 12 months up to April 2012 Brighton and Hove City Council had 820 reports of abandoned bicycles, with only 115 being claimed by the original owners.

Between April and November 2012 there were already 932 bicycles reported dumped, with 109 later claimed.

Cycling experts at travel campaign group Sustrans said there appeared to be a UK trend of more bikes being abandoned in university towns.

It suggested it could be due to students only spending a few years in a place or because the students go home for months at a time during the holidays.

Pete West, chairman of the council’s environment and sustainability committee, said: “It may be due to an overall increase in the number of people cycling in the city.”

Strain on bike parking

Melissa Henry, from Sustrans, said: “An increase in abandoned bikes is frustrating, as it puts further strain on the number of places to park.”

Unclaimed bicycles on the city’s streets are slapped with a notice and given two weeks to be moved, after which they go on a list for collection.

Picked up by the council, Brighton’s abandoned bikes are delivered to Sussex Central YMCA, where they are refurbished and sold to raise money for charity and to cover the running costs of the scheme.

A council spokeswoman said: “The scheme not only provides reliable second hand bikes at affordable prices but provides job opportunities for young people and helps reduce the amount of waste destined for landfill.”

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