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Dutch rental bike scheme to come to 50 British railway stations + video

£3.80/day for a round-town bike

A Dutch-style inexpensive bike rental scheme - dubbed Bike & Go - is set to roll out across 50 railway stations in the UK from August 13 thanks to transport company Abellio, according to BikeBiz.

You’ll be able to rent a Bike & Go bike for just £3.80 per day, plus an annual fee of £10. You can hang on to the bike for up to three days, but after that there will be a penalty fee of £7.50 per day.

That’s a lot cheaper than the charges you could rack up if you keep a London Barclays Cycle Hire Boris Bike for more than a couple of hours. Between 2 hours 30 minutes and 3 hours continuous Boris Biking will cost you £15, for example. But unlike the London scheme you’ll have to return your Bike & Go bike to the station where you picked it up.

However, where Boris Bikes are intended for hop-on/hop-off short trips, the idea of Bike & Go is that you’ll use the train to get from A to B, and then grab a bike to get to C, D or E, rather than catching a bus or taking a cab.

The Bike & Go bikes will be supplied by Raleigh

Bike & Go might also appeal to commuters who want to ride to the station and not have the worry of their bike being stolen. However, the weekly cost wouldn’t take long to add up, so it might turn out to be a way of trying out bike-train commuting rather than a permanent way of combining them.

If you’re not travelling alone, you can hire a bike for a friend too; you won’t both need to be Bike & Go members.

Abellio is the international arm of the Dutch government rail operator Nederlandse Spoorwegen and operates Merseyrail, Greater Anglia and Northern Rail. Bike & Go is based on the OV-Fiets bike rental network in the Netherlands, which has 230 locations.

Most of the 50 stations where Bike & Go will operate are in the North of England, starting with stations in Merseyside.

Stations that will have Bike & Go facilities include Bradford, Sheffield Meadowhall, Liverpool South Parkway, Bishop Stortford, London Liverpool Street and Colchester (all opening in August) with Harrogate, Altrincham, Ely and Ipswich among the locations to open in September, October and November.

Bike & Go is based on the OV-Fiets bike rental network in the Netherlands, which has 230 locations.

For more on Bike & Go, take a look at the scheme’s website, or have a watch of this explanatory video:

John has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.

He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.

Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for Along with founder Tony Farrelly, John was on the launch team for and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.

John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.

He joined in 2013. He lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

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