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Cardiff seeks to resurrect cycle hire scheme flop

OyBike scheme in Cardiff folded after just two years, citing lack of sponsorship

Cardiff is set to resurrect a cycle hire scheme originally launched in 2009 but found to be a flop.

Council transport bosses want a London-style sponsored bike hire scheme for locals and visitors to use.

Back in 2009 we reported how the Smart bike scheme in was launched throughout the city centre, Cathays and Cardiff Bay after a review of cycling in the city.

A commercial venture by OYBike saw blocks of bikes stationed in and around the city centre and once a bike was finished with it could be returned to any of the available stands.

75 bikes were installed in 10 stands in all, but was shortlived - partly because it wasn't rolled out to the planned 35 docking stations.

The Cardiff scheme ended on 23 December 2011 with OYBike citing a lack of ongoing sponsorship.

This was despite the first 30 minutes of any ride being free, in order to encourage users. Only 5 per cent of users were repeat customers. The whole day cost was £5.

Now an operator is being sought to provide 500 bikes located at key points around the city close to public transport.

A spokesman told Wales Online that all costs would be borne by the sponsor and operator.

"The aspiration of the new scheme intends to be far larger that the initial pilot scheme back in 2011, with 500 self-service bikes located across the authority area," he said.

"These will be based at a number of sites including strategic locations close to existing public transport facilities.”


After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on

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