Following the success of the nextbike cycle hire scheme in Cardiff, which has recorded more than 548,000 rentals since its launch in 2018, the Vale Council has received requests for a similar system.
In response to these requests, as well as in recognition of the potential benefits to the community and environment, nextbike, the UK’s leading bike share scheme provider, will implement the project.
The organisation is looking to install 50 electric bikes across several docking stations in Penarth. Whilst potential locations have been identified, the council is also inviting residents to give their suggestions. The racks need ample space for loading and unloading bikes, as well as links to power sources and visibility to the public.
Local school pupils will be invited to enter designs for terminals and bike side panels, and local mechanics will be employed to assist with the repair and maintenance of the fleet.
Furthermore, the Council is working closely with Cardiff Council to create a system that will link the two schemes. This will ensure that members are able to travel between and return bikes to both locations.
Director of Environment and Housing, Miles Punter said: “Having declared a climate emergency earlier this year, it is imperative that as a Council we continue to support active and sustainable methods of transport. The bikes are simple to use and tariffs tend to be cheaper than travelling by car, bus or train.
“The initiative will benefit the health and wellbeing of our commuters and residents, as well as being an asset to tourism in the area. If this proves to be a success, we hope to see the scheme expand further.”
Krysia Solheim, nextbike UK managing director, said she was excited to be bringing e-bikes to Wales: “We know from our research that a lot of commuters already cycle from Penarth into Cardiff. E-bikes will make that journey easier and quicker than ever before, which will hopefully persuade more people to switch from four wheels to two.
“E-bikes are not only great for reducing journey times and taking on steep hills, they’re also a great way of getting people of all abilities and fitness levels into cycling. It’s an exciting time for Penarth.”.
The nextbike project is being funded by Section 106 sustainable transport contributions. For more information on the scheme, or to suggest a location, visit www.nextbike.co.uk/en/penarth.