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Bike share scheme for York

Thursday 5th July 2018

Cycling

Proposals to introduce a new bike share scheme in York could get the go ahead at a meeting next week.

York is positioned as an ideal location for this scheme: it’s one of the top cycling cities in the UK, with a good existing cycling network.

What’s more, further improvements to the city’s cycling infrastructure will be made through major regeneration projects including York Central, Scarborough Bridge, the Community Stadium and York Rail Station Frontage.

With the popularity of bike share schemes on the rise in the UK, partly because they can provide multiple users with a cheaper and often quicker way to travel, York’s councillors requested that feasibility work was carried out to see if a scheme could be introduced in York. £50k was made available to fund this work and as a contribution to a possible launch.

There are two main types of schemes available: the traditional ‘docked’ system, akin to London’s ‘Santander Cycles’ scheme and the more recent ‘dockless’ system.

Introducing a dockless system, which would be managed by an industry partner operator, is the proposed option. This would be cheaper to run and would be unlikely to require any ongoing funding from the council. This could also enable the user to sign up for a scheme, locate their nearest available bike, unlock the bike and pay for hire using their own phone.

The traditional docked system could also be considered and this would help to restrict and control where bikes are left around the city. However, this would require significant investment in infrastructure including delivery of both power supplies and docking stations.

Cllr Peter Dew, Executive Member for Transport and Planning, said: “Many people could benefit from a bike share scheme in York. But, it’s important that we build on the lessons learned from other cities to deliver a scheme which benefits the unique characteristics of our city and the needs of the scheme’s potential users.”

Cllr Andrew Waller, Deputy Leader and Executive Member for the Environment, said: "Making sustainable transport as easy and appealing as possible is key to reducing congestion and improving air quality in York. As well as investing in quality cycling infrastructure and placing it at the heart of future developments in the city, we need to look at initiatives like this to give more residents and visitors the access to bikes."

Options will be put before Cllrs Dew and Waller, who are taking a joint decision over the scheme at a meeting in July. If the preferred option is approved a procurement process would be undertaken, alongside key partners, to identify a suitable operator and secure a dock-less bike share scheme for York for an initial one year period.

This work will also ensure any key challenges are identified and addressed including parking the bikes, availability, security/theft and safety.

A cycle hire scheme would feed into a new citywide campaign ‘Move More’, which encourages anyone who lives or works in York to get out, move more and feel healthier and happier.

The Decision Session takes place on 12 July at West Offices from 2pm and is open to members of the public or is available to watch later online at www.york.gov.uk/webcasts

To find out more about the report, or to attend, visit: http://democracy.york.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=738&MId=10857