Cardiff to launch city centre bike hire scheme in September

Welsh capital beats London in launching city centre smart bike hire scheme

by Kevin Emery   August 12, 2009  

cardiff city hall cathays park.jpg

A new Smart bike scheme in Cardiff will start next month which will allow the public to hire and ride bikes throughout the city centre, Cathays and Cardiff Bay after a review of cycling in the city.

The bike scheme is due to be run in Cardiff as a commercial venture by OYBike and will start on September 22. Blocks of bikes will be stationed in and around the city centre and once a bike is finished with it can be returned to any of the available stands. There will be 75 bikes in 35 stands in all.

The review will also see one of Cardiff’s busiest streets, St Mary Street, become fully pedestrianised early next year.

Delme Bowen, the council's executive member for transport, said: "Cycling is at the heart of our sustainable travel scheme and we are committed to encouraging people to think about using bikes.

"With a series of major pedestrian improvements now underway we are working to ensure cyclists can be properly accommodated right across the city centre."

The bike hire scheme and pedestrianisation plan are two of many projects that form part of Cardiff’s £28.5 million Sustainable Travel City scheme, jointly funded by the Welsh Assembly and the Council, which aims to reduce congestion and encourage a shift to more sustainable travel by foot, bike and public transport.

The review follows the creation of Wales’s first £28.5m Sustainable Travel City schemea number of major new plans are gathering momentum in Cardiff and the council is beginning a review of city centre cycling.

An 18-month trial to allow cycling on Queen Street between 4pm-10am comes to an end on Tuesday and the council have said it will be reviewed following opposition from both South Wales Police and disabled groups in particular.

There has been a three per cent increase in the number of people commuting by car in Wales which gave fresh impetus to a Welsh Assembly Government push to end schemes inaccessible by foot or bike.

OYBike already runs bike hire operations in London, Cambridge, Reading, and Farnborough. You need to pre-register to use an OYBike and register £10 of credit to your account. Most journeys using the bikes are likely to be relatively short and the first 30 minutes of any journey is free - the next 30 cost £2 rising to £8 to hire a bike for the day.