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Less than one bike a day taken out on Nottingham bike hire scheme

Blackpool hire scheme up for consideration too after council cuts funding

Nottingham's bike hire scheme could be under threat after it was found that fewer than one bicycle a day has been hired in the six months since the city bike scheme was launched.

The scheme has only been used 126 times since September, but council chiefs have blamed the weather and say they expect usage to pick up as the summer approaches.

Murray Brown, told This Is Nottingham that he was a fan of the bikes.

He said: "I've used them to go from library to library to find books that aren't in the Central Library.

"The bikes are fine and they've been free to use, which is great. I don't know if everyone knows they are there to hire

"I often think twice about going out on the bike because of the weather. I'm sure people will use them more in the summer."

The worst month for the scheme was November, with only seven bikes used.

There are five cycle hubs across the city where the free bikes can be accessed.

853 cyclists have registered to use the hubs at Nottingham train station, Broadmarsh Bus Station, Fletcher Gate car park, and the Queens Drive and Colwick park and ride sites.

Councillor Jane Urquhart said: "We are hopeful that we have put the right infrastructure in place so as the weather starts to improve we will see people taking this up."

Graham Hubbard, co-ordinator of Lenton-based cycle training company Ridewise, said the council has provided him with ten CityCard bikes to help teach people how to ride.

He said: "I think it's fantastic the city council has undertaken this scheme.

"I would hope that the city council will up the ante on advertising this provision. A lot of people might see the bikes and not be entirely clear they can be borrowed, and that the process is easy."

In December it was announced that the Blackpool hire-a-bike scheme was under threat, due to a lack of funding.

Figures for this financial year forecast the bikes will bring in income of £17,258 –compared to £20,000 which had been hoped for.
Costs are set to be £2,620 more than expected.

The council has already cut its £75,000 subsidy to the scheme, but hopes that a sponsor, similar to Barclay with London's Boris bikes, will step in to cover the difference.

Councillor David O’Hara, who led a scrutiny panel into the scheme, told the Blackpool Gazette that next summer would be key to the future of the scheme.

He added: “We started the scrutiny 15 months ago, but Government cuts since then have affected the funding.

“The council has had to withdraw its subsidy, but even that was not enough to fund the scheme anyway.

“The idea is to see how it goes next year when it starts up again. The months from next April to the end of the Illuminations will be key.

“We suggest the council looks for sponsorship and ways of increasing membership.”

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matthewuniverse | 11 years ago

I'm in Nottm too, only saw these a few weeks ago. Piss poor show.

billsdon | 11 years ago

Nottingham's a good cycling city but there are lots of lessons to be learned from other cities who've tried (and failed) at this. I hope they did their research. And I must say, I'm surprised they aren't using Raleigh bikes for the scheme - may have been a good publicity angle seeing as the company is based in Nottingham.

newsonoid | 11 years ago

The scheme works with a CityCard which you must get in advance, if you haven't got one you can't just hop on one and pay like in London.

dodgy | 11 years ago

I honestly think the Liverpool scheme is similarly doomed, it hasn't even launched yet. For those familiar with Liverpool, it's not that cycling friendly. There are major arterial routes just out of town and many parts of the city are divided up by dual carriageways. It's also a fairly compact city, if I worked there I would just walk to get around.

I think if they included ferry crossing in with the rental/loan price, that might be a good incentive.

Lungsofa74yearold | 11 years ago

I live in Nottingham and this is the first I've heard of this. Says it all really.  2

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