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Hundreds take advantage of new cycle scheme

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A new cycle hire scheme in Dudley borough has seen residents enjoy hundreds of cycle rides per week since it launched.

The West Midlands Cycle Hire Scheme rolled out in Stourbridge and Kingswinford in April with people invited to enjoy their first 30-minute bike ride for free.

Since the scheme launched, it has generated between 100 and 320 rides per week.

Bike stands were installed in and around Stourbridge town centre as part of the scheme, which is now up and running in many other areas of the region.

Distinctive grey and green bikes are available with docking stations at key sites including Stourbridge Bus Station, near The Bonded Warehouse and in the town centre as well as out towards Wordsley and Kingswinford.

The scheme offers more people the opportunity to enjoy cycling by providing a convenient alternative to the car or public transport for shorter journeys.

The bikes can be hired using the Beryl Cycle Hire app, which will include Covid safety advice. To receive the free 30-minute offer people need to download the app and register their details.

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

We’re really pleased that the bikes have been well received so far and we expect them to grow in popularity in coming weeks, particularly as the weather improves.
They are a great green way to travel to explore the local area and stay active.
We believe a majority of the hires so far have been for recreational use but as more people return to the workplace as restrictions ease, we anticipate more people choosing to use them as an alternative greener mode of transport for commuting.

Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said:

I had great fun taking a Stourbridge cycle hire bike for a pleasant ride alongside the canal recently – and would strongly urge others to give it a go.
Our Cycle Hire scheme has proven very popular across the West Midlands with more than 150,000 kilometres clocked up by riders in the first three months. It’s great for the environment, healthy, and a convenient alternative to the car for shorter journeys – all whilst being cheap and easy.
It has been so successful that more bikes and docks are on the way, and we are talking with our partners, including Dudley Council, about new dock locations in Stourbridge.

Later this year, the bikes 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.

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 cycle hire scheme has been delivered 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.

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.
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 provided 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.

More details online at WMCycleHire.co.uk and on social media: @wmcyclehire #wmcyclehire

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