A NEW cycle hire scheme is due to launch across the West Midlands next year offering more people the chance to cycle around our towns and cities.
The operator of London’s famous Santander Cycles has been appointed by Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) to offer bikes for hire in Solihull, Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Wolverhampton and Walsall from the Spring.
Contractor Serco will initially provide 1,500 bikes for hire, 10 per cent of the bikes.
They’ll all have three gears and fitted with safety lights that project an image of a bicycle five meters in front of the rider.
The scheme is a success story for regional manufacturing, with almost all parts being made here in the West Midlands.
The bikes are manufactured in Stratford-upon-Avon by Pashley Cycles who also work with Serco to provide the bikes for London and Edinburgh.
Supporting technology will be provided by British micromobility operator Beryl who also work with Serco in London.
The on-street docks are being made by Universal Fabrications in Nuneaton, while the locking system is produced by Coventry based RDM Group and PHA Europe in West Bromwich. The plastic mouldings for the bikes and docks are made in Telford by LVS.
The scheme will initially trialled in Sutton Coldfield followed by a full public launch across the West Midlands from March.
TfWM, which is part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), has agreed a five-year contract to offer more people the opportunity to enjoy cycling and provide an alternative to the car for shorter journeys.
Work is under way with partner councils to find sites for 170 fixed docking stations across the region, including Solihull.
Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street said: “During lockdown we have seen a huge increase in people cycling around our region.
“So it is the right time to be starting a cycle hire scheme and I am delighted that Serco’s cycle hire business, who have a great track record running cycle hire in London and Edinburgh are working with us here in the West Midlands.
“What’s more the scheme is truly made in the West Midlands with the bikes, locks and docks all produced here, further supporting local businesses and jobs.
“We are putting unprecedented investment in our cycling and walking infrastructure, including the Starley Network of safe cycle routes launched during the summer, because it is a great alternative to the car for shorter journeys, good for the environment, good for our health and great fun.”