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Sheffield gets bike hire scheme

University-funded scheme is open to all

Sheffield University has launched a bike hire scheme. Open to everyone, Sheffield ByCycle is not only the first public bike share scheme in the city, it is also said to be the first in Yorkshire.

Doncaster Free Press reports that the scheme has 30 bikes located across three Sheffield University docking stations and two halls of residence. Further stations are planned for later this year at Devonshire Green, Barkers Pool and Sheffield railway station.

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Annual membership costs £10 with the first 30 minutes of each journey free of charge. After that, journeys cost £1 per hour. It’s also possible to sign up as a casual member for which you will be charged at the hourly rate without the free half-hour at the start.

Sheffield ByCycle is funded by the university, which was recently named ‘Most Cycle-Friendly Workplace’ at the inaugural Cycle Planning Awards. The initial costs of around £85,000 were raised from car park fees at university sites – money that was ring-fenced for sustainable transport initiatives such as this.

Nine per cent of Sheffield University staff regularly cycle to work. In recognising the organisation’s commitment to cycling, the Cycle Planning Awards noted: “Cycling is on the up in Sheffield. Students and staff are bucking the trend for a hilly northern city and using the bike increasingly as their main form of transport. At the University there is an attitude to create a culture where cycling is the norm. They try to provide the best quality facilities to support staff who want to cycle.”

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University travel planner Darren Hardwick said: “These schemes enable people to use a bike when they want to do the shopping, go to a meeting or just get around with friends.”

The city centre hire sites are funded by Sheffield Council and there are already plans for expansion. Other businesses will be encouraged to fund their own docking stations. One docking station and five bikes would cost around £10,000.

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