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£3.80/day for a round-town bike

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:

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

10 comments

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thelimopit [136 posts] 2 years ago
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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.

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jonusher [20 posts] 2 years ago
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This will also propagate the idea of 'normal' bikes to other parts of the UK - a fantastic initiative!

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Gizmo_ [1333 posts] 2 years ago
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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.

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Some Fella [890 posts] 2 years ago
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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)

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a.jumper [845 posts] 2 years ago
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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.

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pmanc [194 posts] 2 years ago
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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.

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TeamCC [146 posts] 2 years ago
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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.

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farrell [1950 posts] 2 years ago
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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.

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therealsmallboy [162 posts] 2 years ago
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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?

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a.jumper [845 posts] 2 years ago
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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.