Wednesday, 16 December 2009

The Bicycle now arriving at Platform 10

On 28th September 2009, the Department for Transport announced a £14 million package to improve cycle facilities by creating 'Cycle Hubs' at  10 major rail station  and creating 10,000 extra cycle park spaces at these rail stations.

Included in the DfT statement were details of funding given to Virgin Trains to improve cycle parking along the Stoke to Manchester rail corridor and cycle accessibility at the stations. There was also a mention of a "cycle hire schemes" to be introduced at Manchester Piccadilly, with opportunities to expand to other stations.  The Stoke Sentinel (29th September) has reported that Virgin have been allocated £1 million for these cycle schemes.

More recently, reports have reached us that Oy Bikes (London) have had discussions with Virgin Trains and Manchester City Council about developing a Cycle Hire scheme on Platform 10 at Manchester Piccadilly station.  With up to 110 hire bicycles being shared between Stoke, Piccadilly and Victoria stations and a couple of other locations in Manchester.  Large companies and organisations will also be encouraged to support the scheme by installing additonal cycle hire units.

Oy Bikes were last seen operating in Manchester in September 2005 as part of European Mobility Week.  Between 16th to 22th September, the distinctive yellow bikes were available via an Amsterdam-style system outside Victoria station, Piccadilly station, St Peter's Square Metrolink stop and St Ann's Square.

We look forward to seeing the distinctive bikes once again on the streets of Manchester.

Oy Bike photo sourced from: Tree Hugger

Oy Bikes already in Cardiff. On the 26th November the Guardian Bike Blog reported that the "Bike hire revolution hits Cardiff"

"It's a bit front-heavy. Not much good for wheelies." That was the verdict of one passerby as he inspected one of Cardiff's fetching new yellow and green rentable bicycles that are now dotted around the city at 11 hire locations. With just 70 bicycles and hire stations restricted to the city centre and Cardiff Bay, it is small by comparison with similar schemes in other European cities such as Paris, Copenhagen and Nice. But the company running it, called OYBike, say this is just the start. "The system will hopefully continue to grow (locations and thus stations) as private companies want to sponsor more rental points outside their offices," said Deborah Pester, a spokesperson for OYBike.

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