Reading cycle hire scheme ReadyBike to end

Image source, Reading Borough Council
Image caption,
ReadyBike was launched with a £1.2m government grant in 2014

A bike hire scheme is to close after the company running it failed to find sponsorship.

ReadyBike began in Reading, Berkshire, in 2014 with government funding, but has struggled since the subsidy ended.

It emerged in 2017, Reading Borough Council had been keeping the scheme running at a cost of £10,000 a month after the central funding ended.

The council said other bike hire companies had expressed an interest in taking over the operation.

Operating company Hourbike's contract to run the ReadyBike scheme will end on 31 March and the bikes will be placed in storage.

Tim Caswell, from Hourbike Limited, said: "It is with some sadness that Hourbike has had to give notice from operating ReadyBike."

The UK based company has "struggled to cover the costs of operating the scheme" with "current factors" having "significantly impacted" the business.

The other schemes operated by Hourbike in Brighton, Derby, Liverpool, Lincoln, Northampton, Southport and Norfolk are unaffected by the decision.

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