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Graeme Obree helps push Edinburgh’s Bike and Go cycle hire scheme

Rail chiefs hope streamlined sign-up process will encourage greater uptake

Graeme Obree has backed the Bike and Go scheme which operates from Edinburgh’s Haymarket station. The Edinburgh News reports that the former Hour Record holder has been helping promote the service before it is rolled out across ten Scottish stations by the end of March next year.

Bike and Go allows commuters to hire a bike at the station for onward travel, but uptake has been poor since the scheme was first launched two months ago. A major reason for this was that passengers had to apply for a membership card to be sent out in the post, which could take as long as a week. However, rail chiefs have now introduced an on-the-spot sign-up option allowing people to immediately hire a bike, rather than having to sign up in advance.

Obree said that bikes presented the perfect solution to cutting congestion in Edinburgh. “It’s an extension of public transport – it makes it easier for people to get from A to B. Let’s not forget, also, that cycling a bike is great fun and a very social way to spend time with friends. That’s a win-win for me.”

Bikes can be hired for £3.80 a day after paying a £10 subscription. Ian McConnell, programmes and transformation director at ScotRail, said he hoped the simplified online sign-up process would make life easier for people.

“This new system really simplifies the sign-up process, and we’re sure it’ll be a big boost for cyclists – especially at a time when Edinburgh streets are particularly busy. Bike & Go is ideal for busy commuters or for visitors who are keen to get round the city easily during the festival, as well as being an environmentally friendly option.”

There are now plans to roll out the service across ten Scottish stations by the end of March next year. Facilities at Haymarket and Stirling are already up and running and Livingston North, Bathgate, Linlithgow and Livingston South have also been earmarked for the project.

Last month it was also announced that Edinburgh trams would allow passengers to bring bikes on board. Following a two-month trial, it was decided that two bikes would be allowed on each tram, except during peak hours. However, bikes are not permitted throughout August due to festival crowds.

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