Dutch rental bike scheme to come to 50 British railway stations + video

£3.80/day for a round-town bike

by John Stevenson   August 1, 2013  

Bike and Go cyclists

A Dutch-style inexpensive bike rental scheme - dubbed Bike & Go - is set to roll out across 50 railway stations in the UK from August 13 thanks to transport company Abellio, according to BikeBiz.

You’ll be able to rent a Bike & Go bike for just £3.80 per day, plus an annual fee of £10. You can hang on to the bike for up to three days, but after that there will be a penalty fee of £7.50 per day.

That’s a lot cheaper than the charges you could rack up if you keep a London Barclays Cycle Hire Boris Bike for more than a couple of hours. Between 2 hours 30 minutes and 3 hours continuous Boris Biking will cost you £15, for example. But unlike the London scheme you’ll have to return your Bike & Go bike to the station where you picked it up.

However, where Boris Bikes are intended for hop-on/hop-off short trips, the idea of Bike & Go is that you’ll use the train to get from A to B, and then grab a bike to get to C, D or E, rather than catching a bus or taking a cab.


The Bike & Go bikes will be supplied by Raleigh

Bike & Go might also appeal to commuters who want to ride to the station and not have the worry of their bike being stolen. However, the weekly cost wouldn’t take long to add up, so it might turn out to be a way of trying out bike-train commuting rather than a permanent way of combining them.

If you’re not travelling alone, you can hire a bike for a friend too; you won’t both need to be Bike & Go members.

Abellio is the international arm of the Dutch government rail operator Nederlandse Spoorwegen and operates Merseyrail, Greater Anglia and Northern Rail. Bike & Go is based on the OV-Fiets bike rental network in the Netherlands, which has 230 locations.

Most of the 50 stations where Bike & Go will operate are in the North of England, starting with stations in Merseyside.

Stations that will have Bike & Go facilities include Bradford, Sheffield Meadowhall, Liverpool South Parkway, Bishop Stortford, London Liverpool Street and Colchester (all opening in August) with Harrogate, Altrincham, Ely and Ipswich among the locations to open in September, October and November.

Bike & Go is based on the OV-Fiets bike rental network in the Netherlands, which has 230 locations.

For more on Bike & Go, take a look at the scheme’s website, or have a watch of this explanatory video:

10 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

I think the biggest problem with bike hire schemes like these is that they're so fragmented, so you can't use your, say, Bath cycle scheme membership in Bristol. Rolling it out to 50 stations at once sounds a lot more enticing and promising.

posted by thelimopit [118 posts]
1st August 2013 - 18:44

3 Likes

This will also propagate the idea of 'normal' bikes to other parts of the UK - a fantastic initiative!

posted by jonusher [20 posts]
1st August 2013 - 20:37

3 Likes

I hate to say it, but a lot of these are going to get nicked.

Part-time bikers, pootle around, leave the bike outside a shops while they pop in, don't bother locking it because it'll only be a minute. Light-fingered scrap merchant, bingo.

Boardman CX Team '14 | Cannondale CAAD8 '12 (written off, SMIDSY) | Scott Sportster '08

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posted by Gizmo_ [956 posts]
1st August 2013 - 21:24

2 Likes

Not too happy about having to return the bike to the same station but overall its a step in the right direction (if they dont all get nicked - which they probably will)

posted by Some Fella [820 posts]
1st August 2013 - 22:41

1 Like

Dearer than £2.50/day Brompton Dock which is already up and running at some east coast and great western stations? The more the merrier but all the membership charges are starting to add up.

posted by a.jumper [726 posts]
2nd August 2013 - 8:19

2 Likes

I was going to comment that it's similar to the brompton dock offering (but with less folding). Also brompton dock doesn't have the 72 hour time limit or a requirement to liase with station staff. What if the staff have gone home?

I find this kind of system works well when bike-happy friends are visiting:
- Go to station to pick up visiting friend on bike (which is otherwise pretty difficult).
- Use bikes to explore town, hang out, etc.
- Drop friend off at station after visit, check bike back in.

posted by pmanc [144 posts]
2nd August 2013 - 9:41

3 Likes

It would be great to have all the bike rentals join up but with more organisations creating opportunities it should end up like the rent-a-car companies that are constantly folding into each other like zipcar.

posted by TeamCC [146 posts]
2nd August 2013 - 13:05

4 Likes

Surely they can build in a GPS thing into these to track those that do go missing?

I'm glad someone else mentioned scrap dealers, that was the first thing I thought of when I saw Altrincham on the list.

posted by farrell [1580 posts]
2nd August 2013 - 14:22

2 Likes

I'm not sure if Abellio have done their research. Sheffield Meadowhall is a large shopping centre (similar to Trafford centre/ Lakeside etc..) that lies a good 4 miles away from the city with no reason whatsoever to cycle from. Surely they should have planned to install their systems at the main Sheffield station.

Sheffield is a little hub for National business because of it's central location. I know of loads of people that bike-train-bike to my office building from London for meetings. What were they thinking?

Chiggety check yourself before you wreck yourself

posted by therealsmallboy [89 posts]
3rd August 2013 - 9:24

4 Likes

therealsmallboy wrote:
I'm not sure if Abellio have done their research. Sheffield Meadowhall is a large shopping centre (similar to Trafford centre/ Lakeside etc..) that lies a good 4 miles away from the city with no reason whatsoever to cycle from. Surely they should have planned to install their systems at the main Sheffield station.

I suspect they're doing what they can. According to nationalrail.co.uk:

Meadowhall (MHS) Managed by Northern Rail (=Abellio)

Sheffield (SHF) Managed by East Midlands Trains (=Stagecoach)

Abellio probably won't find it easy to install stuff in a rival train company's station, and of course they'd probably prefer more passengers to use their less attractive Meadowhall station instead of Stagecoach's Sheffield one.

posted by a.jumper [726 posts]
3rd August 2013 - 11:19

3 Likes