Co-Bikes expands with £340,000 of new stations rubberstamped
Posted on: 13 July 2018
The expansion of the UK’s first on-street city electric bike hire scheme continues with new sites approved for Exeter and East Devon.
This week Devon County Council’s East Devon Highways and Traffic Orders Committee (HATOC) gave approval for three new Co-Bike sites, which follows Exeter HATOC’s approval in May for ten new and three expanded sites. The combined programme totals £340,000 to expand the Co-Bikes network in and around the city.
Currently the scheme, launched in 2016, has 20 bikes in operation at six sites with more than 700 members registered up to February 2018.
The project will see 74 new bikes across new and expanded stations across East Devon and Exeter.
As the bikes have a good battery life and do not need continuous charging, the sites will be a mix of docked ‘electric charging’ stations and dockless ‘cycle hoop’ parking.
The dockless sites can be installed at a fraction of the cost of a docked site, which means more sites and bikes can be delivered. New technology means that the dockless cycle hoops can still detect that a bike is parked/returned to the site.
In Exeter new docking stations will be placed at Honiton Road Park and Ride, IKEA, Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, Pinhoe Station and at a reinstated Digby and Sowton Rail Station site.
Dockless sites are being added at Heavitree High Street, the Met Office, the University of Exeter and at the Pinn Hill, Bishops Court Quarry and Seabrook Orchards housing developments.
Existing sites at Exeter Central Station, St David’s and the Civic Centre will be extended to allow for more bikes to use the docks.
In East Devon two new docking stations will be placed at Cranbrook and Old Park Farm (Pinhoe) with a dockless point at the Science Park.
The expansion of the network is being paid for through the National Productivity Investment Fund and by developer contributions.
More bikes and more stations will ensure user numbers continue to rise by offering more pick up and drop off opportunities to travel between key locations.
The new sites are expected to be introduced over the next two years.
Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for
Highways with responsibility for cycling and chairman of the East Devon Hatoc said: “Cities are becoming more congested and it is vital that we reduce our dependency on the car.
“The scheme already shows that people are willing to make the switch and expanding the network not only increases choice of destinations it will encourage more people to cycle.”
Councillor Rob Hannaford, the chairman of the Exeter Hatoc said: “More
docking stations means that more people who want to make short and medium distance car journeys between key destinations will have the chance to ditch the car and instead travel in an enjoyable, sustainable and healthy way.”
Councillor Sara Randall-Johnson, one of the local members for Broadclyst,
said: “Co-bikes are changing the way that people travel. They are affordable and great fun to ride particularly if you don’t want to peddle too hard up hill.
“The expansion will mean that more people will have the option to travel and commute in a healthier way and help reduce car-borne carbon emissions and air pollution.”