French ambassador raises concerns about Galway bike scheme

Coca-Cola Zero Bike scheme bicycles at Eyre Square

Galway City Tribune – French authorities have strained diplomatic relations by raising a series of “serious concerns” about Galway City’s public bikes sharing scheme, which have been dismissed as “inaccurate” by Irish authorities.

The Ambassador of France to Ireland, in a letter to Galway City’s mayor, has claimed an ongoing dispute between the shareholders of Galway Bike Scheme, “seriously affects the quality of the service”.

Mr Stéphane Crouzat in a letter to Mayor Pearce Flannery also claimed a procurement decision by the National Transport Authority (NTA), has led to a deterioration in relations within the consortium that runs the scheme and between the consortium and the NTA.

However, NTA CEO Anne Graham, replied with a strong rebuttal of Mr Crouzat’s “unfounded allegations”, which she said contained “inaccuracies” and “false information”.

The letters were released to Galway City Tribune following a Freedom of Information (FOI) request.

Mr Crouzat outlined his “serious concerns” about the ongoing dispute between the shareholders of Telfourth, the consortium that was founded in 2013 and operates Galway Bike Scheme.

The consortium includes three companies, West Ireland Cycling, Nationwide Controlled Parking Systems, and Tracetel, a French systems provider that operates similar bike schemes abroad.

He outlined to the Mayor that a dispute has arisen within the consortium, which has gone down the legal route after mediation failed in relation to alleged breach of contract and infringement of intellectual property.

Mr Crouzat said: “. . . as the bikes and the stations have deteriorated due to the lack of maintenance, the network of stations across Galway remains limited thereby hindering the attractiveness of the scheme for users. The utilisation rate of the bikes is one of the lowest amongst comparable schemes.”

However, NTA CEO Anne Graham, responded, and said she was “extremely disappointed with the incorrect information and unfounded allegations” in the letter sent by Ms Crouzat.
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