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York Gears Up For Cycle Hire Scheme


6:44am 16th July 2013

York is gearing up to make the first steps towards introducing a city-wide cycle hire scheme, if approved at City of York Council’s Cabinet today (Tuesday 16th July).

The council is moving towards making cycles readily available to everyone in the city for short trips through the introduction of the new scheme, which could be in place by early 2014.

Building on an exciting year ahead of cycling, York is set to host both the National Circuit Cycle Races on 21 July 2013 and the Stage 2 Grand Départ of The Tour de France in July 2014.

Cllr Dave Merrett, Cabinet Member for Transport, Planning and Sustainability, said: “This would be an effective way of promoting cycling, particularly in view of the desire to secure a legacy to the Tour de France in York next year.

“Despite over eleven thousand York residents (aged 16 to 74) choosing cycling as their primary mode of travel to work (census in 2011) there still remains a gap in cycle provision for those living, visiting and working in York who don't have a bike and require a quick and flexible service to meet a variety of needs.”

Ranked as the third best cycling city in England, York remains one of the top cycling towns and cities in the UK, which is supported by figures released by the Department for Transport in April.

If approved, officers will undertake further development of a business model for a scheme including seeking external sources of funding and tendering for a potential provider, say the council. With a strong chance of attracting corporate sponsorship, the level of additional revenue funding required from the council is dependant on this plus any external grant funding, and future tariff income.

Indicative costs have been sought using Newcastle as the closest example to what York should strive to emulate and this estimates that the cost to introduce a 24 month trial would be approximately £200K per annum based on 130 bicycles and 38 locations.

The proposed scheme would have full coverage of the city, with a network of dozens of cycle hire points located in key areas, i.e. close to the city centre, the universities, residential areas, park & ride sites, and the outlaying retail parks.

An update will be brought to a future Cabinet meeting for a final decision to be made.

For more information about York’s Year of Cycling visit www.itravelyork.info

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