The West Midlands is set to benefit from a new bike-share scheme, with the University of Birmingham providing a home for several stations.
The scheme, which will be the UK’s largest docked bike-share scheme outside London was announced this week by Transport for West Midlands, part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).
The University is a pilot site for the wider scheme, which will be run by nextbike, having carried out considerable feasibility work in this area. This means that staff and students will receive free trial memberships in exchange for their feedback when the scheme launches.
Director of Hospitality and Accommodation Services Stuart Richards said: “We are delighted to support the rollout of this scheme, and very proud to have been selected as a pilot site.
Adding: “As an institution, we are dedicated to improving our sustainability, and this is one step onward in that journey.”
The first phase of bikes will hit the streets in September this year, with 2,000 installed across Birmingham, Coventry and Wolverhampton. A further 3,000 bikes will be rolled out in phases to include Walsall, Dudley and Solihull in 2019.
• Docking stations will be located around key sites in a variety of locations
• Bikes will be available 24 hours a day
• Annual membership will cost just £30 per year, meaning riders can access the bikes for as little as 8p a day.
The landmark scheme will bring 50 jobs to the region, with posts including area managers, van drivers and mechanics.
Swift card members will be able to access the bikes as part of their regular subscription and payments will be fully integrated.
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “Cycling has an important role to play in tackling issues such as congestion, air pollution and health so I am really pleased we’ve reached the stage of announcing who will run the scheme in the West Midlands from September.
“Here in the West Midlands, our public transport is currently undergoing a revolution with new Metro extensions, plans to reopen rail routes and transform existing stations and new rapid transit bus services. The bike-share scheme will help support this, giving people options to use sustainable transport as part or all of their journey.
“I’m really looking forward to later in the year when we will have the first of these bikes on the streets in the West Midlands.”
Julian Scriven, nextbike UK MD, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to be bringing nextbikes to the people of the West Midlands.
“We are able to offer the most technologically-advanced and forward-thinking bike-share scheme and fleet in the UK and it’s amazing that the people of Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Walsall, Sandwell, Dudley, Solihull and Coventry will be able to benefit from it.