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Cycle hire scheme coming to Dudley borough

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People who live and work in Dudley borough are set to benefit from the West Midlands Cycle Hire scheme.

Cycle hire will be available in Stourbridge from the late spring and residents will be invited to take part in a consultation in advance.

Distinctive grey and green bikes will be available in and around the town with docking stations to be located at key sites such as Stourbridge Junction Station, near Mary Stevens Park and in the town centre itself.

West Midlands Cycle Hire is already up and running in Sutton Coldfield and Wolverhampton and it will continue to be rolled out across other boroughs in the West Midlands in the coming months.

When fully rolled-out later this year, there will be 170 fixed docking stations and 1,500 bikes for hire across the region - of which 150 will be powered e-bikes.

Councillor Karen Shakespeare, cabinet member for public realm, said:

The last 12 months have really highlighted the significant contribution cycling can make to reducing road congestion and pollution levels, while giving people huge health benefits, and we are committed to doing all we can to support active travel.
We are delighted to be able to confirm that we are working with Transport for West Midlands to offer a cycle hire scheme for our residents, starting late spring.
The hire is starting in the Stourbridge area and this will hopefully give us the opportunity to see how the scheme could work for a wider roll out across the borough.

The cycle hire scheme has been launched by Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), to encourage more people to become active and healthy and offer a convenient and more environmentally-friendly alternative to the car for shorter journeys.

Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands and chair of the WMCA, said:

It really is exciting that after launching the West Midlands Cycle Hire Scheme in Sutton Coldfield and Wolverhampton earlier this month, we are now able to start rolling out our answer to the Boris Bikes across Dudley.
The scheme is all part of our wider plans to promote and improve cycling across the region, as we continue to invest millions in our 500-mile Starley Network of safe cycle routes, as well as help fund a range of community-led projects through the Better Streets Fund.
Not only is cycling brilliant for people’s fitness and physical health, but it also helps reduce the number of cars on the road, helping us to tackle congestion, air pollution, and the climate emergency we are facing as a region.
As we emerge from lockdown I’m sure our Cycle Hire Scheme will prove to be incredibly popular for cyclists both young and old, and I would urge people of all abilities to give the bikes a go.

The pedal cycles have three gears to cope with hilly parts of the region and are fitted with high quality laser safety lights.

The five-year contract with Serco, the operator of London’s successful Santander Cycle Hire scheme, offers the opportunity for more docks and bikes to be provide as demand increases. The bikes are made by Pashley’s in Stratford-upon Avon and the docking stations and locks are also manufactured in the West Midlands.

It costs £1 to unlock a bike and 5p per minute after that - this means a 20 minute cycle will cost £2 and an hour £4.

The bikes can be hired using the Beryl Cycle Hire app. Later this year, they will also be available via the new Swift App. This will be the first app for the West Midlands to offer ticket purchases, the Swift Collector, departure information, journey planning, car hire and more, all in one place.

Investment in cycling facilities is a key part of the region’s plan to encourage more alternatives to the car for shorter journeys around busy towns and cities with a view to reducing congestion, improving air quality and helping the region achieve its #WM2041 net zero-carbon target. For more information people can visit www.wmcyclehire.co.uk/

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