DOZENS of bikes are being abandoned in racks around York - and street rangers say the problem is on the rise.

York Bid, which helps recycle discarded bikes, says that since it started the recycling initiative last summer, more than 100 bikes have been locked up and abandoned around the city.

The company launched the drive to help keep cycle racks free and to recycle dumped bikes.

Street Ranger Darren Erwin said he had seen an alarming rise in bikes, both old and new, being left in the same spot for weeks on end.

He said: “We place a tag on bikes when we notice that they have been in the same place for over a week.

"We take it in turns between rangers and in the last few months we have seen a rise.

“I have been tagging between 10 and 12 bikes a week and I know that the other rangers are also tagging a lot.

“One-day last month I tagged close to 20. Some of these bikes are undoubtedly old but a lot are worth £400, £500.

“I can’t see why anyone would want to leave their bike especially in a city like York, which is a prime place to cycle.”

A spokesman for York Bid said: “To date, the scheme has recorded that it has removed and recycled over 100 bicycles that had been left behind in the city centre.”

He added that recordings are yet to be updated and that the total was likely to be a lot more.

The spokesman added: “It’s a great way of keeping the cycling racking free for local cyclists. To try and alleviate this problem in other ways, earlier this year the BID added an additional 10 per cent worth of secure cycle parking spaces to the city centre.”

Once the bikes are collected, they are taken to Recycle in Walmgate, before being repaired and sold on to York residents or businesses in Africa.

Cllr Andy D’Agorne, City of York Council executive member for transport, said: “Action by the BID is very welcome as it helps to free up cycle racks for customers.

"Expensive bikes could have been stolen, so we do need to encourage bike owners to register their details on the immobilise website or get them security marked by the police using the ‘dot peen’ equipment.”