Councillors hope that the new bike-sharing scheme will help cut air pollution and increase sustainable, healthy travel in the city.
SERA's conference programme isn't the only exciting green-Labour news in Brighton this month. The city's much anticipated bike-share scheme, supported by the Labour-run council goes live today with 450 bikes and 30 docking stations across the city (rising to 50 when the scheme is fully operational).
Here's what Cllr Gill Mitchell, Chair of Brighton and Hove's Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee had to say about the scheme:
“This bike-share scheme is the first in the UK to combine docking stations and dock-less locking technology. Users will be able to either use a casual renting plan costing 3p per minute with a minimum of £1 per trip or pay £72 per year for an annual membership which will entitle riders to an hour of free usage every day.
The scheme operator, Hourbike, who operate bike-share schemes in other UK cities, will be fully responsible for managing and maintaining the service as well as supplying the bikes and associated equipment. Funding from the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership has covered the £1.45m start-up costs, including a local contribution of £290,000 from the city council’s Local Transport Plan. The operator is responsible for covering all other costs and securing any external sponsorship.
With air pollution being a problem in some areas of the city, adding this sustainable, cost- effective and healthy travel option will play a part in addressing this challenge.
The number of people travelling around the city by bike is increasing and the aim in Brighton and Hove is to build on that enthusiasm by providing a flexible service that will give more choice by providing an opportunity to cycle, even if people do not own a bike or cannot bring one with them. The operation of the scheme itself will provide jobs and, as an additional attraction for tourists, will help to boost the local visitor economy.
As a major visitor destination with its iconic beach-front, heritage architecture and unique range of shopping opportunities, all ringed by the outstanding natural beauty of the South Downs National Park, exploring this wonderful city by bike is about to get a whole lot easier.”
You can also read Hove MP Peter Kyle's blog for SERA on what the bike-sharing scheme means for the city's green leadership here.