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Bike & Go railway bike hire scheme to be shut down in Scotland, Merseyside and East Anglia

Each bike in Scotland was being used around once a month

The Bike & Go bike hire scheme which operates from a number of Abellio stations is to be closed down at the end of September because it is "not self-sufficient". The Scotsman reports that bikes outside ScotRail stations are being rented on average once a month.

The Bike & Go scheme suffered a rather wobbly launch in 2015 with the website falsely showing there were “0 bikes currently available” at the first two Scottish locations on the first day.

Take-up was also underwhelming and the scheme currently has only 2,000 members.

The 103 ScotRail cycles were rented an average of 122 times per four-week period over the last year.

The story was similar outside Merseyrail stations. In 2016 we reported that bikes there were seeing just one user every six days during the busiest month of the year.

A Bike & Go spokeswoman said: “Unfortunately, the number of rentals and members since it was introduced in 2014 meant the scheme was not self-sufficient and the decision has been made to close Bike & Go across the UK.

"Current Bike & Go customers will be contacted on 31 August and given a one-month notice period to make alternative travel arrangements and information on refunds.

"Secure cycle cages will remain at stations to be used by cyclists to store their personal bikes as part of an ongoing commitment to reducing carbon emissions across the UK."

A ScotRail spokesman said: “Bike & Go was part of our commitment to cycling provision for customers.

“We have engaged with Transport Scotland other key stakeholders regarding the closure of the scheme and outlined ScotRail’s ongoing commitment to cycle provision at stations.

“This includes ongoing work with commercial cycle hire schemes to locate cycle hire facilities at our stations.”

Ian Maxwell, of Spokes, the Lothian cycle campaign, said: “The scheme was not user-friendly, the bikes were too heavy and it was superseded in Edinburgh by the Just Eat Cycles scheme.

“If there are other hire schemes, I’m not sure ScotRail are the best people to run them. The priority should be more bike parking at stations, and in the right place.”

Jim Densham, campaigns and policy manager for Scotland for Cycling UK, said: “It is disappointing the scheme is being scrapped when other bike share schemes are popping up in our towns and cities.

“We need to find a way for all these different bike rental systems to work together as a national scheme, to make it much easier for people to use any of them as part of their journey.”

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

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