The company which operate Sheffield's fleet of over 1,000 yellow 'scan and go' hireable bikes have denied vandalism is behind their decision to leave the city just six months they were introduced.
The company which operates the scheme - Ofo - announced on Friday that they would cease operations in the city in the coming weeks.
They say they are leaving Sheffield to concentrate on other key UK markets, and that they have been pleased with the amount of interest the scheme had generated since it launched in the city in January.
However, just last month the company revealed they were bringing in the police, ex-armed forces and a 24/7 'rapid response' team to combat levels of vandalism 'far above' other cities.
Joseph Seal-Driver, General Manager of ofo UK, said: “The reception to our launch in Sheffield was fantastic and we’ve seen a huge amount of hires. But we’ve taken the difficult decision to withdraw from the city and focus on other key markets.”
"We have experienced some vandalism and theft in Sheffield, but this is not the reason for this strategic decision to rationalize the business.”
Councillor Jack Scott, cabinet member for Transport and Development at Sheffield Council said it was a 'shame' that Ofo was downsizing its UK operations, starting with their flagship scheme in Sheffield.
He said: "The scheme has been a great success and shows that Sheffield has the appetite and ambition to make dockless bikes work.
"In its first month alone, more than 28,000 trips were taken and there were more than 10,000 unique users from all parts of the city.
“We will now look at other dockless bike schemes so people in Sheffield can continue to enjoy the benefits."
And Councillor Shaffaq Mohammed, leader of the Sheffield Liberal Democrats, said: "It’s sad to see Ofo go. The ongoing vandalism of the bikes is likely a key factor to their decision.
“Just over a week ago, Ofo launched a new team to deal with vandalism and said that unlike in other cities, vandalism levels in Sheffield aren’t dropping off.
“We could dwell on Ofo’s decision here, or we can see what we can learn from this. What makes Sheffield different to London, Norwich, Leeds or any other city Ofo operates in?
"Sheffield City Council needs to be proactive here. They should talk to Ofo, other bike hire schemes and of course the police to see what we can learn from this.
“Let’s not let our city hit the headlines for the wrong reasons. Let’s learn from this and fix it.”