Hundreds take advantage of new cycle scheme in Dudley borough

Residents in Dudley have been enjoying hundreds of cycle rides per week since a new cycle hire scheme launched in the borough.

Councillor Karen Shakespeare with one of the bikes
Councillor Karen Shakespeare with one of the bikes

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.

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 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, Dudley Council's cabinet member for public realm, said: "We are 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, added: "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.

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