Monday, 21 September 2009

Cardiff launches fleet of city bikes for hire

Cardiff Council is setting up its own fleet of 70 bikes for hire at cheap rates to the public in the city.

Cardiff Smart Bike scheme, based on the Velo Libre scheme in Paris, will allow residents and visitors to register to use one of a fleet of 70 specially branded bikes from 35 bike stations round Cardiff city centre and Cardiff Bay.

For £18-a-year or £5-a-week you can register to use the bikes, the first 30 minutes of hire are free and charged at small hourly rental after that. Bikes can be picked up and dropped off at any of the hire points.

The scheme is designed to help encourage more people to take up cycling and enjoy the health benefits as well as helping to reduce traffic congestion in the city.

The launch of the
Cardiff Smart Bike Scheme tomorrow, coincides with European Mobility Week on In Town Without My Car Day and is part of the Cardiff Sustainable Travel City Project.

Councillor Delme Bowen, Executive member for Traffic and Transportation, said: "I’m delighted to be launching this new scheme today. Once again
Cardiff is leading the way as a vibrant and sustainable travel city and these bikes will fit in perfectly into our public transportation network."

OYBike Managing Director Bernie Hanning, whose company is running the scheme, said, "OYBike is always looking to
develop our technology following customer feedback and this latest design includes a reservation function and the ability for the software to interact with existing transport schemes to provide a fully integrated system. It is my hope this system will become an iconic part of Cardiff city centre’s."

Richard Nelmes of
Cardiff Cycling Campaign and Jane Lorimer, Deputy Director of Sustrans Cymru, the sustainable transport charity, also welcomed the sheme.

The launch takes place at The Walking and Cycling Conference The Walking and Cycling Conference, a national event sponsored by the Welsh Assembly Government. The conference brings together engineers, transport planners, public health practitioners and other professionals to explore and develop ideas for encouraging people to move away from automatically traveling by car.

Speakers include Jane Davidson AM the
Welsh Assembly Government Minister for the Environment, Sustainability and
Housing, the Chief Medical Officer for Wales Tony Jewell and representatives from Sustrans.


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