Report a suspected abandoned bicycle

The University has authorised Oxford Direct Services (ODS; the commercial division of Oxford City Council) to remove bicycles from University land if they are classed as abandoned. A bicycle is classed as abandoned if it meets one or more of the following criteria:

  • It is secured in a dangerous position (i.e. blocking a road or emergency access)
  • It is secured to a University cycle rack and in an unroadworthy condition
  • It is secured in an inappropriate place (i.e. causing an obstruction to pedestrian or disabled access)
  • When it is reported by University staff or students and assessed as unroadworthy or is in a dangerous position
  • When it is noted as not having moved for a reasonable period of time - several weeks

A bicycle that is defined as unroadworthy will have sustained two or more of the following:

  • Flat front/rear/both tyres
  • Missing wheel
  • Missing seat
  • Buckled front/rear/both wheels
  • Bent forks
  • Seized/damaged brakes
  • Rusted chain/gears
  • Missing chain

Please report suspected abandoned bikes.

What we do with abandoned bikes

Once a bicycle has been identified as potentially abandoned the University will authorise ODS personnel to secure an identifying tag to the bike handlebar. This warns that if the bicycle is not removed by the owner within 7 days, it will be removed by ODS as abandoned.

If the bicycle has not been removed by the owner within 7 days, the bicycle will be taken to a depot to be held securely in a compound. All enquiries should be directed to Streetscene, Cowley Marsh, Marsh Road, Oxford, OX4 2HH.

The bicycle will be held for five weeks to enable a claim to be made. If no claim is made after five weeks, the bicycle will be donated to our partners at Broken Spoke Bike Co-op, recycled as scrap metal or used in other recycling schemes.

We do not sell abandoned bikes to University staff, students nor members of the public.

Claiming an abandoned bicycle

You will be asked to prove ownership of the bicycle by providing a description (colour, make/model, identifying features) and the location of where the bicycle was left. If you cannot provide this basic evidence, the bicycle will not be released to you.

To make a claim for an abandoned bicycle, please contact Streetscene on 01865 249811