Edinburgh's Just Eat Cycle hire scheme will close several hire points after bike racks were repeatedly targeted by vandals.
The initiative from Serco and Transport for Edinburgh was rolled out last year with the aim of providing Capital residents a healthier and greener method of getting about the city.
In total, 22 virtual hire points are set to shut by Friday 7 June, with 10 of those being reopened later in 2019 and one operating as a virtual point at weekends only. The remaining 11 points will stay closed but will be kept under review.
In some areas of the city, the project has been plagued by vandalism. In January, the Evening News reported a set of Just Eat bike stands in Leith were wrecked by thugs and in December cycles in Victoria Park were trashed.
Charles Graham, Serco’s General Manager for Just Eat Cycles, said: “Virtual hire points were first introduced in areas where we wanted to monitor demand. After extensive research of trip data and consultation with users, we can now take steps to relocate hire points to where they are needed most and upgrade these to physical points. Another key factor has been identifying locations which have the best 3G coverage to allow users to lock and unlock bikes with ease.
Mr Graham added: "Another factor in the relocation has been the vandalism of some of our virtual hire points which has had a negative impact on our customers and their experience.
"We’re now taking steps to either close hire points which have been repeatedly targeted, or relocate them to areas with greater security and transform them into physical hire points.”
However, Serco has vowed to keep adding to the network and expansion plans will see 30 new physical hire points added before September 2019, leaving Edinburgh with 18 additional hire points by the end of the year.
500 bikes are strategically positioned around the city’s network which is currently made up of some 80 hire points. It is thought the scheme will reach 100 hire points by spring 2020.
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Corstorphine Road - Pinkhill, Close and Review
Dalry Road Lidl, Replace
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South Trinity Road, Replace
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Cramond Foreshore, w/e only
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Gamekeeper's Road, Replace
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Hillside Crescent 1, Close
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