Early this week (18th Jan 2021) City of York Council agreed to allow Tier expand its current offer to include e-bikes for public hire as well as the e-scooters currently on offer. The range in which hires will be allowed to be used, enforced by the e-assist cutting out if you go out of range, will be gradually increased to cover the whole of the city by March 2021.
As with all e-bikes, the bikes on offer still require riders to pedal with the motors providing additional help. The e-assist function limited to 25 km/h (15.5mph) – at speeds over this e-assist will switch off and only the rider will be powering the cycle.
Cycle hire will cost £1 to unlock the bike, with a fee of £0.15 per minute of hire. This means a typical trip from the station to the hospital would cost around £2.50, although options can be made available for frequent users or specially identified groups.
In the run up to the decision session, York Cycle Campaign issued the following statement of support to the council;
Two years ago the Campaign gave a statement in support of a proposed cycle hire scheme in the city, to an executive of transport decision statement. Unfortunately that scheme did not come to fruition, however the proposal by Tier provides another opportunity to bring a cycle hire scheme city.
There is strong support amongst our members for a bike hire scheme. Ahead of our last statement we conducted a poll of our members, with 87% of those who responded saying they were in favour of a cycle hire scheme in the city. Interest in a scheme continues, with discussion about the latest proposal ongoing on our social media accounts.
Members’ enthusiasm comes from their experience of using similar schemes in cities throughout the UK and the world.
We hope that if the initial offer of cycles proves successful, Tier might consider introducing some cargo bikes into their offer. This would allow residents to hire cycles for when they need to transport large, bulkier and heavy items, which would in turn would benefit local shops.
Many members, including the few who oppose a bike hire scheme at all, have called for better infrastructure to support cyclists in York. As a cycle hire scheme, it’s likely the majority of users won’t be regular cyclists in York but visitors to the city and occasional cyclists for whom confidence to ride unprotected routes they are not familiar with will likely be low.
Overall, the attitude of York Cycle Campaigners towards the proposed introduction of a bike hire scheme is one of firm support.