Go West: Brompton Dock opens at Bristol Temple Meads and Exeter St Davids stations
Folder for hire also coming soon to Oxford, Reading and other locations

Brompton Dock has teamed up with First Great Western with the opening this week of hire docks at two key stations on the rail operator’s network – Bristol Temple Meads and Exeter St Davids – with others at Oxford and Reading due to follow shortly, enabling rail passengers to hire Brompton’s iconic folding bikes.

Launched last year at Manchester Piccadilly, Brompton Dock is a sister company to Brompton Bicycle, and with the Bristol and Exeter openings there are now eight locations open in the UK, the others being at railway stations in Guildford, Stoke-on-Trent, plus one opposite Ealing Broadway station and another on the campus of the University of Greenwich. The latter is only open to the institution's staff and students.

Members have 24-hour access to the bicycles, which can be accessed on a long- or sort-term hire basis, with a variety of tariffs available, as shown below.

Trial Rider Tariff
1-week membership + hire: £10

Occasional Rider Tariff

Yearly membership £10
Weekly hire £25 (£3.57 per day)

Daily hire £8

Frequent Rider Tariff

Yearly membership: £50
Monthly hire: £50 (£1.67 per day)
Weekly hire: £15 (£2.14 per day)

Daily hire: £4

Further details, including how to register and how to unlock bikes, can be found on the Brompton Dock website.

Referring to the opening of the dock at Bristol Temple Meads, First Great Western Retail Manager Central Mike Holmes said: “It's getting people out of cars and onto bikes. It will hopefully also encourage people to use fold-up bikes which are a massive advantage for us for travelling on the train itself.

“Passengers can get a bike and actually take it with them to their destination - say that be from Bristol to Bath or Chippenham for example – go to work and come back the day after, returning the bike to its dock."

Mark Antwis, Managing Director of Brompton Dock, commented: “We are very pleased to be working with First Great Western, helping to integrate cycling into the company’s network.

“Brompton Dock offers the train operator’s customers a simple, affordable and flexible way to travel to and from railway stations. It exploits all the advantages of the Brompton, a popular folding bicycle that may be carried unrestricted at any time on trains and buses.”

By the end of this year there are planned to be at least 15 Brompton Dock locations in the UK, with scheduled openings including Ashford International, Canterbury, Maidstone and Tonbridge in Kent, Peterborough, Southampton, and Hounslow, North Acton and Southwark in London.

The company says it is also planning to expand internationally.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.


Campag_10 [153 posts] 3 years ago

Looks a great option for trying out a Brompton and for occasional use, but the Frequent Rider tariff looks more expensive than buying a Brompton outright on the C2W scheme.

bazzargh [149 posts] 3 years ago

@Campag_10: I doubt Brompton would object to you buying one instead of hiring. In fact, I expect that's part of the pricing plan.

A V Lowe [562 posts] 3 years ago

For the frequent rider you get a bike that you never need to service (it gets swapped when service or repair is due), you can put it off hire when you go on holiday and mix & match in many ways. The tariff is a back office detail generated by a computer program - initially there are 3 public tarifs, but already there is a special deal for staff & students at the University of Greenwich and no reason that other offers cannot be delivered.

In Newcastle for example the Key Card for discounted local bus fares, also offers free membership of the car sharing scheme (Co-wheels) and the bike hire system (Scratchbikes) - SW Trains has similar smart cards and may offer a special deal for season ticket holders in this way.

There may also be the option to 'buy' a year's lease in the same way you can buy a season ticket for rail or bus, with the company 'loan' scheme.

With the computer-generated accounts the range of options is very wide, so if you have a big audience (employees, members of a university etc) there is always the option to negotiate a suitable tariff. One inner London employer for example estimates that for every employee who vacates a car park space, the employer saves £9000/year, so actually 'giving' a bike to an employee who vacates a parking space is a win-win for both sides.

A V Lowe [562 posts] 3 years ago

PS always worth asking if you can do the hire as an annual salary sacrifice scheme, like the C2W but without the CCA, and HMRC setting the value of the bike at the end of the scheme.