Northern Ireland

Belfast Bikes: Belfast City Council repair bill falls by 70%

Belfast bikes outside the City Hall
Image caption Belfast's bike scheme has proved popular since its introduction in 2015

The cost of repairing Belfast hire bikes damaged by vandalism fell 70% in a year.

Belfast City Council said it spent £7,494 on damaged or stolen bikes from 31 March 2018 to 1 April 2019, compared to £22,700 the year before.

There was also a 10% increase in people signing up to use the Belfast Bikes.

There are more than 350 bikes at 46 docking stations in the city and more than 5,500 members signed up to the scheme, which was launched in 2015.

A Belfast City Council spokeswoman said there has also been "a high uptake of the pay-as-you-go option".

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Image caption Some Belfast Bikes have been found dumped in the River Lagan

"We continue to work closely with the PSNI, the local community and the operator to address the issue of vandalism and would appeal to the public to report any incidents."

To use Belfast Bikes, people must register first for an annual subscription (£25 per year), a three-day membership (£6) or pay as you go (£1 for 30 minutes).

In its first year of operation, vandalism and theft cost Belfast City Council £1,800.

It rose to £19,000 in its second year.

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