Glasgow City Council has confirmed its plans to expand Glasgow’s cycle hire scheme.
Following the launch of the scheme in summer 2014, where 400 bicycles were placed throughout 31 bicycle stations, the scheme has already grown to 435 bicycles and 43 stations.
Glasgow City Council has now confirmed that the scheme has been awarded a new seven year contract and will be expanded by more than double its current size. The council intends to see the scheme increase to 900 bicycles at 100 stations by next year.
The bicycle scheme has seen 16,000 people register as users and bicycles have been hired out more than 270,000 times. Data also shows that the highest usage rates of the bicycles are from Monday to Friday, inclining that they are being used for commuting.
Glasgow City Council leader, Frank McAveety said: "It is clear there is a real appetite for the cycle hire scheme in Glasgow. We receive overwhelming feedback from users of the scheme and numerous requests for more stations."
The cycle scheme will also have specific benefits in the Hillhead area.
Local councillor Martha Wardrop said: "The expansion of the current scheme, including the addition of 13 sites in the West of the City, will benefit the Hillhead area by making it more convenient for residents and visitors to choose to cycle on a daily basis. It will create opportunities for people using public transport hubs such as Hyndland Station and Kelvin Hall Subway to access cycle hire facilities. It is good news for the local shopping streets as Maryhill Road, Queen Margaret Drive, Finnieston Street and Argyle Street are likely to attract more custom from passing cyclists when the bike hire facilities are installed.
"There is a need to continue to make improvements in provision of fully-segregated cycle lanes, including investment in College Cycle Route, the North City Way and East City Way."
The transport branch of the Glasgow University Environmental Sustainability Team also supports the expansion of the scheme, stating: "This scheme is welcomed by the University community as it is in-line with the aims for active and sustainable travel. For students, the scheme alleviates the cost of investing in a personal bike and worries about theft.
"We would recommend that the existing stations are expanded, due to growing demand in the most popular locations. We also suggest that bikes are provided in key regeneration areas, such as Govan and Govanhill, to enhance connectivity for students living in all areas of the city. The opportunity to loan helmets should also be considered."
Anyone who wishes to use the Glasgow cycle hire service can access it at a rate of £1 per 30 minutes or alternatively sign up to an annual subscription. This can either be paid via the Nextbike app, online or by telephone. More information, including cycle locations, can be found here: http://www.nextbike.co.uk/en/glasgow/
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