A FRUSTRATED organiser of a Southampton bike scheme has hit back at "mindless vandals".

Dave Munday, operations director of YOBikes in Southampton has taken to social media to address the vandalism issues that the scheme has been experiencing.

In an online post responding to a picture of a damaged YoBike Mr Munday suggested he may quit the city – although he later dismissed this idea.

Mr Munday said: "Unfortunately there are individuals who have no respect for property.

"Soon I will make a decision about whether I continue with this service in Southampton."

Mr Munday's online claims come after he spoke to the Daily Echo about a future expansion in the city due to the bike scheme's 'encouraging growth' in popularity.

The scheme, which started in 2017, allows its users to unlock and ride bikes around the city with the use of an app.

The company has recorded 32,000 rides since it first opened.

Despite Mr Munday's online suggestion, he has told the Echo: "I have no plans for YoBike to leave the city.

"I had a meeting with the council in late July and we discussed ways of improving the service.

"My frustration comes from the level of mindless vandalism that we see that destroys the bikes and takes them out of service for our users.

"Recently there have been up to 15 cases of vandalism each week which costs my business time and money.

"At the end of the day people should respect other people's property."

Hampshire County Council's Local transport plan, (2011-2031) which was published in 2015, states that the council seek investment in sustainable transport measures, to provide a healthy alternative to the car for local short journeys to work, local services or schools.

The policy states: "Cycling supports many policy agendas including public health, economic development, tourism and the environment. "

A sustainable travel spokesperson from Southampton City Council said: "Bike sharing operators such as YoBike provide a great opportunity for residents and visitors to have easy access to bicycles and support our wider plans to make cycling easier, safer and better.

"Despite some issues with vandalism, we have been encouraged by the continued growth in usage especially over the recent period of good weather and we are keen to continue to support bike sharing operations in Southampton.

"The YoBike operation also benefits from being locally managed and we know YoBike is always keen to receive any information from the public on where there may be damaged bicycles and will respond quickly to have them collected."