The people of Liverpool have spoken – and they have given the city’s exciting new cycle hire scheme its official name.
Liverpool’s bikes for hire will be branded City Bike, following a public vote, which has seen hundreds of people airing their views over which name they think will best resonate with people in the city and beyond.
City Bike beat-off other shortlisted names ‘Pool Bike and Pop Cycle as the public’s favourite and will now be the brand emblazoned across the bikes and stations, when they launch in April.
Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport and Climate Change, Councillor Tim Moore, said: “I’m really pleased that we’ve had such a fantastic response to our public vote – it shows just how much interest there is in this scheme.
“It’s important that local people are given ownership of this scheme, and what better way to do that than to ask them to choose the name for it? If all those who took part in this vote show the same level of enthusiasm for using the bikes, we can look forward to the scheme being a great success!
“We’re now just weeks from launch and I’m looking forward to us finalising the City Bike branding, as well as the design and colour of our bikes, and unveiling them to the public in the very near future.”
Experienced UK supplier HourBike Ltd has been chosen to run the scheme – which is set to be the biggest in the UK outside London – after a competitive tender process.
The scheme will launch in April with an initial 100 bikes at 10 city centre stations. By July, there will be 500 bikes at 50 stations; with 1,000 bikes at more than 100 stations, across the city, by March 2015.
People simply need to pay an annual membership fee which allows them to take a bike from any station, ride it where they like, then take it back to any station, ready for the next person to use.
No booking is needed and it’s self-service – just turn up and go. The bikes are best for short journeys – and using them will be free to members to use for the first half hour.
Liverpool’s cycle hire scheme was announced last year. Since then, extensive consultation has been carried out with local people, businesses, key tourism and sites and educational institutions to get their views on the scheme, how they would use it, and where they would like stations to be located.
The city council also held a Cycle Hire Demonstration Week in the city centre last July, giving hundreds of people the chance to try out bikes from a range of suppliers, get to grips with how to use the stations and provide feedback.
The funding for the Liverpool City Cycle scheme comes from the Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF), allocated by the Department for Transport (DfT). Liverpool has received £2.8m from the fund, of which £1.5 million is being invested in delivering the cycle hire scheme. The remainder of the funding has been committed to a number of cycling and signalling infrastructure improvements, and sustainable transport initiatives in different parts of the city.
The LSTF aims to reduce the number of journeys made by car, promote sustainable transport, and reduce congestion and greenhouse gas emissions. It also aims to enhance access to employment and other essential services and improve journey time and reliability.
About the City Bike cycle hire scheme
• Liverpool’s ‘self-service’ cycle hire operation will run seven-days-a-week, with cyclists able to register immediately by phoning through their card details – members then get the first half-hour of every hire for free.
• The scheme aims to respond to an increase in the number of people living in, working in and visiting Liverpool city centre, and tackle climate change challenges by providing increased sustainable travel options around the city.
• It supports the Decade of Health and Wellbeing, launched in 2010, which aims to help people stay healthy and feel good, both physically and mentally.
• It is expected that the cycle hire scheme will quickly expand to become a long term facility for employees, residents and visitors. Following the initial investment, the council hopes the scheme will become financially sustainable after three years.
• Based in Surrey, HourBike launched its Cycle Hire Service in 2007 and is currently running or installing systems in Dumfries, Lincoln, Nottingham, Reading and Southport. The company also acted as consultants on Moscow’s large cycle hire scheme.
• They will be bringing this expertise and experience to Liverpool, to deliver a hi-tech, user-friendly service, which aims to get thousands of people in the city building cycling into their daily lives.