ReadyBike hire scheme unveiled in Reading

A ReadyBike Renting a ReadyBike will cost up to £4 a day for members of the scheme

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Plans for a bicycle hire scheme in Reading have been unveiled.

The 200 pink ReadyBikes will be located at 29 docking stations to encourage more local cycling journeys.

They can be hired via the ReadyBike website where real-time information will show how many are available at each location.

But the Reading Cycle Campaign called the scheme "a farce", saying a lack of cycling in the town was not due to bike ownership but poor road infrastructure.

'Local journeys'

Reading Borough Council transport boss Tony Page said the initial batch of 200 bikes will be available at key locations including the town's business parks, university, shopping streets and north of the River Thames into Caversham from the spring.

The £1.2m scheme forms part of the council's £25m Local Sustainable Transport Fund project, and aims to help create an extra 2,300 daily cycle trips across the town.

ReadyBike scheme features

  • 200 bikes across 29 docking locations
  • Free half-hour use for members at the start of every rental, with a daily cap of £4 for members
  • Members use the website to register, top-up their accounts and look up real-time information
  • Bikes are fitted with electronic chips so they are tracked at docking stations

Reading Cycling Campaign (RCC) chairman Adrian Lawson said spending £1.2m on 200 bikes was "a complete waste of money".

"You could buy 6,000 mountain bikes for £300 for that money as part of a social enterprise scheme," he said.

Robert Lewis from RCC said Reading had a "poorly signed and unfinished cycle network".

He added: "You have to be able to cycle smoothly, efficiently and safely, into and around Reading, before you will encourage people to get on their bikes."

If the scheme in Reading is successful it could expand to other parts of Reading as well as Wokingham and West Berkshire.

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