Northampton’s cycle hire scheme is proving a success with its early popularity continuing into its second month.
Since the launch of Cycle CoNNect on July 15 there have been 1,100 rentals from 490 people who have signed up to the initiative similar to the popular Boris bikes in London.
By the end of the first week there had been 152 rentals and 160 customer registrations, while after two weeks this had risen to 335 rentals.
Set up by Northamptonshire County Council and highways service provider MGWSP in partnership with Northampton Borough Council, Brackmills Estate and the University of Northampton, the £150k initiative will provide 50 bikes for public hire inside the borough.
Cllr Michael Clarke, county council cabinet member for highways, transport and environment, said: “I’m delighted that the scheme is continuing to grow – it seems the people of Northampton have really got behind it, which is enormously encouraging. We are also attracting visitors and students, who are helping to swell the numbers. It’s really good news.
“Initially the wonderful summer weather played a part in getting people out and about on the bikes but we’re seeing now that even with slightly wetter conditions there is still an appetite for the initiative.
“Soon we will have more hubs opening and many students returning and arriving in the town, so we believe that the numbers will continue to grow.”
Initially six hubs are available with the remaining four to open in the autumn.
Hire costs £1 up to one hour, then £1 for each additional hour up to a maximum of £5 per day. However initially, as a promotional offer, the first 30 minutes of each journey will be free of charge.
Registration is free, though on registration, users will have to add an initial £3 of credit to their account, which will remain in place until they use it for rentals.
The bicycles are fully-adjustable for size and comfort, and designed for casual and more experienced cyclists. The hire system is entirely automatic and the bicycles will be available to hire at any time of the day, seven days a week.
The six hubs that will be available from next week are in Mercer’s Row, Becket’s Park and Midsummer Meadow and in Gowerton Road, Salthouse Road and Pavilion Drive on the Brackmills industrial estate.
In the autumn hubs will be available at Northampton railway station (two hubs) and the University of Northampton (Avenue campus and Park campus).
For more details about the scheme please go to www.cycleconnect.co.uk.