British Olympic cycling legend Chris Boardman has returned to Liverpool to mark a double milestone for citybike.
The largest UK cycle hire scheme outside London unveiled its 100th citybike station at Liverpool Innovation Park as it also hit 25,000 hires since launching in May.
In seven months citybike has proved to be a huge success as the people of Liverpool have embraced it and following the launch of corporate memberships – which matches the investment per hour of citybike use by firms to give them double the time – as well as discounted student memberships it is shaping up to carry its momentum through into 2015.
“This first few months has been fantastic and now we are here, unveiling the 100th citybike station,” said Liverpool City Council Cabinet member for Regeneration & Transport Cllr Malcolm Kennedy
“It has been hard work for everyone involved to keep up with demand. You see citybikes everywhere now, not just in the centre of Liverpool but out into the suburbs and parks, where we also have stations.
“Students at colleges and universities are taking advantage of the special offer we have for them and now businesses can sign up to our corporate membership to encourage their staff to use citybike.
“We have just passed 25,000 hires which is incredible. That alone demonstrates just how the scheme is transforming the way people get around the city. It is helping them do their day-to-day business, explore the city in new ways and improve general health as people become more active.
“It has been a real success and we are proud that Chris Boardman, one of the nation’s greatest ever cyclists, has returned home to unveil the 100th station.”
The new station at LIP will enhance the scheme’s offer for corporate members, who use citybike as part of their daily commute.
Officially opening the 100th station, Chris Boardman stressed that citybike is not a scheme aimed at avid cyclists, but a way to allow people to make cycling part of their normal, daily life.
“Citybike’s success to date is that you don’t have to go out and get all the gear and take cycling very seriously in itself,” he said. “It is for normal people in normal clothes so they can get around the city more easily and independently.
“It takes away some of the often quoted reasons that people don’t cycle and with 100 stations across Liverpool and more to come, it is really convenient for commuters, day trippers, shoppers, everyone really.”
Carl Moore of the Homes and Communities Agency which owns LIP, said that bringing citybike to the park was great news for businesses: “The cycle station is a welcome addition to LIP providing a service for over 500 people and 30 businesses that work and travel to the park on a daily basis.
“Many of them use cycling as a regular mode of transport and having a station on-site will hopefully encourage more to leave their cars at home and cycle to work.
“It is good for personal health, the environment and the citybike corporate membership scheme makes it easy for firms to get involved.”
Annual citybike memberships are just £60 and include the first half hour of every journey free plus five hours of free cycle time for longer trips. Top-ups cost just £1 per hour.
For more information on citybike memberships, including how to sign up for corporate, student or standard plans, please visit http://www.citybike.co.uk/