07:00 Thursday 28 November 2013

Bike&Go scheme comes to Ely

Written byJORDAN DAY

The Bike & Go bicycles have arrived at Ely railway station The Bike & Go bicycles have arrived at Ely railway station

A scheme which encourages rail users to leave their bicycles at home - and to hire one from the train station instead - is being launched in Ely.

Bike & Go is a European bicycle hire programme that is being rolled out to 50 railway stations across the UK.

It was launched at Liverpool Central Station in August and is set to go live at Ely station before Christmas.

To use the bicycles, which are fitted with standard locks, people will pay a £10 annual subscription, plus £3.80 for 24 hours’ use.

Andrew Bristow, Bike & Go business manager, said the scheme is based on the OV-Fiets scheme in Holland and Blue-Bike in Belgium.

He said: “We’ve tried to use their templates and use their best practices, and try and incorporate the knowledge and expertise they’ve used and try to bring it to the English and British market.”

Despite relatively small numbers of bikes being available at each station, Mr Bristow said there is a backup supply of the red cycles for particularly popular stations.

He said: “It’s only going to grow, it’s just we haven’t measured what the success of it will be yet, but that’s something we’re looking forward to these next few years.”

The programme has been funded by a £1.65 million grant from the Department for Transport and match funded by Greater Anglia, Mersey Rail and Northern Rail.

If the bicycles are a hit with Ely railway station users, it could also reduce the amount of bikes being taken onto the trains themselves - something which is currently a contentious issue.

As previously reported, Greater Anglia and First Capital Connect, have banned cyclists from taking bicycles on rush hour trains - a move which has angered cyclists but been praised by rail users.

A spokeswoman for Greater Anglia confirmed that the Bike & Go bicycles have arrived at Ely station and that they are hopeful the scheme will launch before Christmas.

For more information, visit www.bikeandgo.co.uk.

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