New cycle hire records hit by booming Edinburgh and Glasgow bike hire schemes

Just Eat Cycles is celebrating notching up 100,000 hires so far this year - 80 per cent as many as in the whole of 2019.

Just Eat Cycles is aiming for 250,000 hires this year. Picture: Greg Macvean
Just Eat Cycles is aiming for 250,000 hires this year. Picture: Greg Macvean

It came as Glasgow’s bike hire scheme hit 1m rentals.

The Edinburgh scheme has also seen more than double the number of hires every month compared to last year.

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The Covid-19 lockdown and good weather are likely to have contributed to the boom, along with several streets being closed to other traffic.

The 100,000 hire milestone was hit on Tuesday evening, which was not achieved last year until September.

There were a total of 124,000 trips made in 2019 and a target of 250,000 set for this year.

The scheme also broke its daily hire record on Saturday with 2,428 trips.

These covered a total of more than 8,500 miles - the equivalent of cycling from Edinburgh to Disney World in Florida and back.

Trips made so far this year total some 330,000 miles.

The scheme is run by Serco on behalf of city council-owned Transport for Edinburgh.

It was launched in September 2018 and has 550 bikes for hire across the city and more than 70 electric bikes.

The battery-assisted bikes have been hired 12,000 since they were introduced in March and travelled nearly 47,000 miles.

General manager Alex Macdonald said: “Having established a new scheme record days earlier, moving past 100,000 trips marks a key milestone in our journey towards getting more people on bikes.

“We are proud to provide a brilliant service to the city.

“It is a good moment to thank our fantastic customers for using the scheme.

“We are looking forward to a busy summer with more broken records and thousands more trips to come.”

Meantime, Glasgow’s six-year-old hire scheme has announced reaching 1m hires.

Half of these were made last year.

Glasgow

The Glasgow City Council project, launched to coincide with the Commonwealth Games in 2014 and run by nextbike,corris now being further extended.

The number of hire stations has been increased by 12 to 79 across the city.

Bike numbers are being boosted by 60 this week and by a further 60 in the autumn to take the total to nearly 800.

Councillors expect to reach their aim of 1,000 bikes and 100 hire stations far earlier than the 2025 target date.

Anna Richardson, city convener for sustainability and carbon reduction, said: “This expansion has been in the pipeline since the start of the year but there really couldn’t be a better time to increase the availability of the city’s bike hire service.

“Cycling enjoyed a real boom in recent months with riding a bike clearly seen as one of the best ways to keep fit and active during lockdown.

“With restrictions now easing, people are considering their travel options and the bike is set to remain an attractive choice for many.

“Having an expanded service with more bikes and parts of city having stations installed for the first time will make it easier for cycling to become an increasingly positive choice across Glasgow.

“Passing the landmark of 1m hires shows the city has a huge appetite for more sustainable forms of transport.

“1m hires means we are heading in the right direction and gives us the confidence to keep building on the success of the bike hire service.

“At the current rate of progress we will beat our target of 1000 bikes at 100 stations by some distance and then we must look at what needs to be done to ensure the service continues to grow.”

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