Cycle hire hub plans revealed in Plymouth

Is smaller better?

by Elliot Johnston   November 8, 2013  

Plymouth (Image cc licensed from Flickr user bobchin1941)

Plymouth have announced plans to integrate a cycle hire hub into a derelict corner of their old harbourfront naval buildings.

The bike hire point that has been put forward for consideration in Royal William Yard will see two old archways transformed into a storage facility for 30-50 bikes and a rental reception area.

The plans will be part of a project that aims to provide links between cycle hire locations in the Hoe and Barbican areas of the city.

However, schemes with a not-so-different premise have been blighted by poor uptake around the country. Take Scottish town Dumfries’ struggling project for example, or Nottingham’s scheme which saw less than one bike hired per day in its first six months.

Even cycle hire schemes that have been received well have often faced overwhelming maintenance costs; Blackpool’s highly touted Cycling England backed scheme being one of them.

The difference in Plymouth’s plans are scale. The proposed harbourside hub is not as ambitious as the 500-strong Blackpool fleet, nor is its audience as small as the 43,600 residents of Dumfries.

The seaside city is already home to a number of small, bicycle rental companies, the stand out of which is a bus which drops off bikes at any given location within the city.

But, while Plymouth’s approximately 250,000 residents are well catered for when it comes to bicycle rental services, the planned Royal William Yard hub could bring a convenient, small-scale low-risk cycle hire option to a city that clearly has a market for bike rentals.

7 user comments

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Good idea for Plymouth but will it work. the Royal William Yard is a bit out on a limb and more of place you would cycle to rather than from.
I would hope someone of sense would identify the cycle networks and locations for tourists. Plymouth has a wealth of interesting areas widespread to visit.
The lets not talk about the poor condition of the roads and the 60% of the road gullies being blocked causing massive rivers down the side of the roads. Years of neglect by the highways maintenance company Amey....and PCC

We're all entitled to a reasonable opinion!

posted by Guyz2010 [298 posts]
8th November 2013 - 18:02


Guyz2010 wrote:
Good idea for Plymouth but will it work. the Royal William Yard is a bit out on a limb and more of place you would cycle to rather than from.

Exactly and with such limited parking at the RWY riding to it makes a lot more sense than riding from it.

posted by Bagpuss [104 posts]
8th November 2013 - 18:21


Better placed for the hire point would be the Barbican..

posted by Rouboy [80 posts]
8th November 2013 - 19:03


Maybe with a cafe that serves the best coffee in Plymouth?

posted by Bagpuss [104 posts]
8th November 2013 - 19:27


Where would you ride to? The only routes out are through a dogging car park, a red light district, Union Street or the friendly Devonport. (Can you take a bike on the Cremyll?)
I can see the benefit of a few small hubs at the Barbican, RWY, Mutley, town, Uni and maybe Saltram/Plym Valley.
This is where Rockets, Cycle Scene, Cogs and even or Halfords could get involved and have the hubs outside or near their shops?

Bianchi on the road.
NMD in the water.

posted by rowes [60 posts]
8th November 2013 - 23:16


The scheme is designed to have two hubs, one at RWY, the other on the Barbican. It will be run by Rockets and Rascals. The links between the Barbican and RWY are being improved, a cycle lane will be going in on Madeira Road and there are plans on the Plymouth Strategic Cycle Network to have a route along Millbay waterfront through the ferry terminal connecting to RWY. Yes you can take a bike on the Creyml ferry, because the council's cycling officer commutes on it every day, unless the weather is calm & then he kayaks over! There is a great cycle route along Richmond Walk which links up to Devon Port park, where the cafe serves a great breakfast. I work in the park feels safe, friendly and welcoming and holds a Green Flag award in recognition as a high quality urban green space...if you want to know all the good cycling stuff that's going on in Plymouth and want to get involved in improving the stuff that's not so good, get involved with the Plymouth Cycling Campaign...

posted by PlymouthCTC [1 posts]
9th November 2013 - 1:32


Generic name - bike hire hot really a helpful indicator.

London should in theory be bike sharing scheme for circulating bikes but commuting users would be better served by bike hire scheme along lines of OV-Fiets.

Tourist type visitors need a different type of bike hire - usually staffed

Then you have long term 'lease' type of hire like Brompton Dock, where bikes are hired by the week or longer.

47 years of breaking bikes and still they offer me a 10 year frame warranty!

A V Lowe's picture

posted by A V Lowe [549 posts]
9th November 2013 - 18:12