New bike share scheme for York

Proposals to introduce a new bike share scheme in York will go in front of Cllr Peter Dew, the Conservative portfolio holder for Transport and Planning, next week.

Following the popularity of bike share schemes in other parts of the country, York’s councillors initiated a feasibility study to see if a scheme could be introduced in York. £50k was made available to fund this work and as a contribution to a possible launch.

The study looked at two kinds of schemes available: the traditional ‘docked’ system, akin to London’s ‘Santander Cycles’ scheme and the more recent ‘dock-less’ system.

Introducing a dock-less system, which would be managed by an industry partner operator, is the proposed option. This would be less expensive and unlikely to need ongoing funding from the council. The dock-less system also has the potential to allow users to sign up for a scheme, locate their nearest available bike, unlock the bike and pay for hire using their own phone.

The traditional docked system could also be considered and this would help to restrict and control where bikes are left around the city. However, this would require significant investment in infrastructure including delivery of both power supplies and docking stations.

Cllr Dew said: “Many people could benefit from a bike share scheme here in York and it’s important that we build on the lessons learned from other cities to deliver a scheme which benefits the unique characteristics of our city and the needs of the scheme’s potential users.”

Options will be put before Cllr Dew at his decision session on 12 July. If the preferred option is approved a procurement process would be undertaken with key partners to identify a suitable operator and to secure a dock-less bike share scheme for York for an initial one year trial period.

The process would also look at other issues such as parking the bikes, availability, security/theft and safety.

The Decision Session takes place on 12 July at West Offices from 2pm and is open to members of the public or is available to watch later online from: www.york.gov.uk/webcasts