Glasgow & West Scotland

Glasgow aims to double its successful bike hire scheme

Glasgow bike hire station Image copyright Ian Watson

Plans have been unveiled to more than double the size of Glasgow's city-wide bike hire scheme.

The initiative was launched just before the Commonwealth Games in 2014 with 400 bikes located at 31 hire stations. There are now 435 bikes at 43 stations.

Glasgow City Council wants up to 900 bikes at 100 stations by next year.

Some of these would be located further afield such as Springburn in the north, Shawlands in the south, Tollcross in the east and Scotstoun in the west.

Public backing

Bailie Elaine McDougall, the council's executive member for transport, environment and sustainability, said: "The people of Glasgow and surrounding areas have really embraced our cycle hire scheme, based on usage figures.

"The bikes are being seen in use all over the city and are very popular also with commuters, students, businesses and visitors.

"We receive overwhelming feedback from users of the scheme and numerous requests for more stations."

Image copyright Ian Watson

The current provider of the scheme, NextBike, operates 15,000 bikes in 80 cities worldwide, including Auckland, Dubai and Zagreb. Glasgow is the biggest bike scheme in the UK outside London and Liverpool.

The council's three-year contract with NextBike ends next year, with the option to extend it by two further 12-month periods.

EU procurement rules, however, mean there can be no further expansion of the current scheme without a competitive tender.

That process will begin at the end of the month, after which a known cost will emerge and the preferred bidder identified.

The authority hopes to have the first batch of new bike stations opened by Spring 2017.

Details of the scheme were put before members of the council's sustainability and the environment policy development committee on Thursday.

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