South Scotland

Scotland's first bike hire scheme uptake revealed

Bikes
Image caption The cycle scheme was launched in Dumfries at the beginning of September

A total of 47 people have taken membership of Scotland's first bike hire scheme in its first 10 weeks.

The £155,000 Dumfries Bike2Go project was launched by Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson in September.

Latest figures from Dumfries and Galloway Council show there have been an average of about 20 rentals a week since the project got under way.

A spokesman for the authority said winter weather had not been "conducive" to people using the bicycles.

The scheme is the first of its kind in Scotland and was set up to encourage people to get "out of their cars and onto their bicycles".

It provides bikes free of charge to subscribers at nine locations across the town.

It is based on similar schemes in Paris, Barcelona, Stockholm and one in London which clocked up one million journeys in its first 10 weeks.

The Dumfries project has now been running the same length of time although the latest figures only cover the period up to 31 October.

They show a total of 142 rentals by members with peak times between 1pm and 6pm and the most popular "hire hub" being in the Dock Park.

The top user has made more than 20 rentals.

A council spokesman said the figures had to be viewed in the context of the scheme being in its early days and also the fact that it was now winter.

He added: "Obviously the recent weather hasn't been conducive to cycling unless the rider is pre-prepared with clothing suitable for cycling in wet weather.

"We are working to build the number of users and a marketing campaign in the spring will encourage increased use of the bikes."

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