An innovative £140,000 scheme which allows rail passengers using Birmingham’s three city centre stations to hire bicycles and continue their journeys by pedal power is to be launched later this year.
Transport authority Centro has teamed up with Birmingham City Council to provide three docks housing state-of-the-art Brompton folding bicycles at locations near the city’s New Street, Snow Hill and Moor Street railway stations.
The docks, which will each contain 20 of the iconic British-built bikes, will be installed this autumn after Centro and local rail operator London Midland secured £90,000 funding from the Department for Transport’s Cycle-Rail Fund, while Birmingham City Council has contributed the remaining £50,000.
The docks are designed to make it easier for people travelling into the city for business or leisure meetings to travel from the station to their destination.
Each bicycle is stored in its own individual bay which is opened using a code sent to a user’s phone.
Cllr Judith Rowley, Centro’s lead member for green and accessible transport, said: “This is a really inventive way to help people travelling in and out of the city get to their destinations, quickly and easily.
“Taking two wheels can play a key role in speeding up journeys and this is just one of a number of improvements we are working on to better connect cycling with train travel. Making it easier for people working in the city to pick up a bicycle, can eliminate the expense of taking a taxi or wasted time spent sitting in traffic.”
The Brompton Docks which will be the first installed in the West Midlands and will build on the wider investment being made by Centro and Birmingham City Council in improving cycling facilities across the city.
To use the self-service rental system, users are given a unique PIN code. A text message including this code, details of the dock location and when a bicycle is required must then be sent to a special phone number.
A response is sent to the user’s phone detailing which bay will contain their bike and an access code, which once entered releases the cycle.
Cllr James McKay, Cabinet Member for a Green, Safe and Smart city at Birmingham City Council, said: “We are keen to transform Birmingham’s facilities to place the city at the forefront of cycling locations.
“This project is one significant step towards that goal, as the Brompton Docks will help people who commute around the city to join-up the various elements of their travel plans in a sustainable and flexible way.”
Rentals will cost £2.50 per day for frequent users and £5.00 for occasional users.
London Midland Managing Director, Patrick Verwer added: “We are keen to encourage our passengers to combine their rail journeys with sustainable methods of onward transport. We are therefore very pleased that our successful application to the Government’s Cycle-Rail Scheme means that we have been able to contribute £90,000 to this exciting project.”
For more information on Brompton Docks visit: www.bromptondock.co.uk