Express & Star

Cycle hire scheme rides into Stourbridge with bike stands installed around town

Residents of Stourbridge can now get on their bike to enjoy what the town has to offer, as the West Midlands Cycle Hire Scheme has been launched.

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Mark Sorrell, from Stourbridge, tries out one of the new bikes near the bus station

People can enjoy a free 30-minute offer by downloading the Beryl Cycle Hire app.

Bike stands have been installed in and around Stourbridge town centre as part of the scheme, which is already up and running in other areas of the region including Wolverhampton and Coventry.

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.

Bike stands have been installed

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

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.

Balvinder Heran, deputy chief executive at Dudley Council, said: "We are very pleased to see the bike scheme in place in Stourbridge and about how the scheme could expand over time.

"By cycling and walking more often we can all play our part in reducing congestion and local levels of pollution as well as helping to keep ourselves fit and active."

Mark Sorrell, from Stourbridge, tries out one of the new bikes near the bus station

The cycle hire scheme has been delivered by Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).

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 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.