Milton Keynes residents are set to benefit from more than 40,000* hours of free cycling to celebrate the relaunch of the town’s popular Santander Cycles MK scheme by leading bike share provider nextbike.
A fleet of 500 new bikes will be launched across Milton Keynes as part of a revamp of the scheme. Approximately 300 bikes will be available by the end of November, with the remaining 200 bikes expected to be in place by early next year. In addition, a further six new docking stations will be added to the 44 docking stations already in place across the town.
The new bikes are upgraded with advanced technology and enhanced features to improve the experience for users. These include: QR codes to make renting the Santander Cycles quick and easy; additional bike gears and; a new rear bike locking system.
To celebrate the relaunch and enable everyone to try out the new bikes, scheme operator nextbike is offering all registered users a 1.5 hour free ride voucher to use between now and December 31, 2019. Users just need to enter the voucher code when they log onto the app and they can ride straight away.
It’s hoped that the new Santander Cycles MK bikes will encourage more people to swap four wheels for two in a bid to reduce congestion and CO2 emissions. This is particularly important given that earlier this year Milton Keynes Council declared a climate emergency and has since been trying to reduce the town’s environmental impact.
The bikes will also be one of the cheapest ways to get around Milton Keynes, with the first 30 minutes free for monthly or annual subscribers, and just £1 for 30 minutes for pay as you go users.
Krysia Solheim, nextbike UK MD, said she was delighted to be bringing the new bikes to Milton Keynes.
“The Milton Keynes Santander Cycles scheme has clocked up almost 130,000 rides and an incredible 206,500 kilometres since it launched just over three years ago.
“We can’t wait to bring the scheme back up to full strength over the next few months. The benefits of cycling are huge, from helping to reduce congestion and CO2, to improving health and mobility. We hope customers will notice a huge difference when they start using the new bikes.”
Dan Sherwood, Interim Chief Marketing Officer at Santander UK, said: “As a major local employer, we were really proud to bring the first cycle hire scheme to Milton Keynes in 2016, and it’s been great to see Santander Cycles MK become part of the local community. Being able to continue that support with a brand new bike fleet and infrastructure is fantastic, especially as we have used a lot of what we have learnt in Milton Keynes to help design the new bikes. Milton Keynes is a great city for cycling and we want the cycle scheme to be used by as many people in the community as possible, so we’re delighted to relaunch the scheme.”
The Santander Cycles MK scheme, which is provided by operator nextbike, was launched in June 2016 and currently has close to 27,000 customers.