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Scotrail Bike & Go service beset by technical faults at launch

Graeme Obree promoting sustainable travel around stations - operators hope for a 10% increase

Graeme Obree has launched the Scotrail Bike & Go service for on-the-spot cycle hire - only for it to be beset by technical faults on its launch day, preventing users taking part.

The service, called a “spontaneous subscriber scheme”, similar to Boris bikes in London, allows users to make bookings with their smartphones for a £10 annual fee and £3.80 hire charge per day.

It was launched in Edinburgh to coincide with the Edinburgh Festival, but at the time of the launch the website incorrectly showed there were “0 bikes currently available” at either of its Scottish locations at Edinburgh Haymarket and Stirling stations, according to The Scotsman.

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A Bike & Go spokeswoman admitted: “I have contacted my colleagues at Stirling and Haymarket who have confirmed there are several Bike & Go cycles available at each location.

“Occasionally, when the scanner which issues the bikes at each location is offline, it will appear on the website as if there are zero available.”

ScotRail later admitted there had been a “technical hitch”.

A spokeswoman said: “The introduction of instant registration required a website upgrade which is now complete, enabling travellers to log on and book their bikes immediately.”

When working, Scotrail hopes that it will boost sustainable journeys around stations by 10 per cent.

Programmes and transformation director Ian McConnell said: “This 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 due to be extended to a further eight stations over the next two years.

Transport minister Derek Mackay, who took part in today’s launch, said: “I have always maintained a strong focus on improving connections between modes of transport, to help make public transport a more attractive and convenient alternative to the car.

“Bike & Go is just one example of how we are investing in new facilities to make it easier for customers to make door-to-door journeys and encourage more people to travel by public transport.”

Obree said: “This is an excellent initiative and hopefully one that encourages more people to see the advantage of using a bike as the perfect solution to cutting congestion in Edinburgh.”

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pauldavies83 | 8 years ago

I've lived near two stations over the past 2 years that have these bikes (Liverpool South Parkway, and Wigan Wallgate). Not once have I seen anyone at all take one of them. The ones in Wigan are lucky f they are upright, they are usually strewn on the floor still attached to the Sheffield stands they are locked to.

Why would you take one for transport (as they are transport-city-bikes), you can get an all day bus pass for less than the £3.80 they want for the bike.

Stop wasting good money on this rubbish, and spend it on decent parking for bikes and decent, safe ways for people to get to/fromthe stations

Ush | 8 years ago

Sounds like a good scheme to me. I like the idea of being able to book a local bicycle at the end of a train journey for a reasonable price.

lushmiester | 8 years ago

These schemes are great and a boon to cycling in general. However, they are perhaps best suited to the local user or to someone who intends to remain close within a city for few days, and I am not going to try Boris biking up Mont Ventoux any time soon, although Scotrail Bike & Go bikes look like a nice option for an Alpe d'Huez ride.

They are not perhaps suited to someone like myself you will use mainline stations as a staging point to travel the last 15 to 25 miles (confess this is sometimes 50) by bike. There is no easy why to rent a bike for this purpose and the only option is to travel with a bike. I've no objection to this as long as long as getting your bike on a train does not significantly limit your travel options and that your bike is safely stored when on the train. As yet this is not the case.

If cycling is to be promoted as a healthy transport choice then the strategy has to encompass multiple options & each has to done to a high standard not just the flashy (although needed) city bike hire schemes.

a_to_the_j | 8 years ago

just give us more cycle spaces on trains and just turn up and drop them in, or proper bike lockers - put money into that, than these schemes...

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