Scotland

ScotRail's Bike & Go cycle hire scheme to be closed down

Bike & Go Image copyright Oliver Dixon/Geograph
Image caption The scheme was launched by ScotRail in 2015 and operated 103 bikes at Scottish stations

ScotRail's cycle hire scheme is to be shut down after a slump in the number of passengers renting bikes.

Bike & Go was launched in 2014 and operated 103 bikes at 12 ScotRail stations, including Glasgow Central and Edinburgh Haymarket.

But it will be ditched at the end of September after scheme bosses Scotland confirmed it was "not self-sufficient".

Some cycling groups have said passengers preferred to take their own bikes on trains, rather than hire one.

ScotRail's Dutch operator Abellio had hoped the scheme could mirror bike collection programmes which have proved popular at stations in the Netherlands.

However, it has now taken the decision to ditch the service at ScotRail stations and its other UK franchises on Merseyside and East Anglia.

'Healthier commute'

ScotRail confirmed the UK-wide scrapping of the scheme but said it would continue to improve cycling provision for customers.

A spokesman said: "We have engaged with Transport Scotland and other key stakeholders regarding the closure of the scheme and outlined ScotRail's ongoing commitment to cycle provision at stations.

"This includes ongoing work with commercial cycle hire schemes to locate cycle hire facilities at our stations."

Bike & Go said the scheme's 2,000 members had enjoyed "an alternative, healthier and more environmentally-friendly way to commute to work".

But a spokeswoman added: "Unfortunately, the number of rentals and members since it was introduced in 2014 meant that the scheme was not self-sufficient and the decision has been made to close Bike & Go across the UK.

"Current Bike & Go customers will be contacted on 31 August and given a one-month notice period to make alternative travel arrangements and information on refunds.

"Secure cycle cages will remain at stations to be used by cyclists to store their personal bikes as part of an ongoing commitment to reducing carbon emissions across the UK."