If you like getting out and about on a bike then there is good news today as the cycle hire scheme is expanding. There will be 18 new hire points introduced by operators Serco this summer and a total of 30 by September.
The company had also set up some virtual hire points which will close and be kept under review, or they will be relocated and reopen as physical hire points. The virtual hire points are literally a mat where you put the bike and lock it. They are a way of the operators trying out locations to see how busy they are before they install bike racks.
Just Eat Cycles has asked for feedback from residents, commuters, tourists and students since the scheme started in September 2018. It is now looking to rebalance the network to ensure bikes are more available where demand is greatest.
22 virtual hire points will close today, with ten of those being reopened as permanent physical hire points later in 2019 and one operating as a virtual point at weekends only. The remaining 11 points will close but will be kept under review.
The reduction in virtual hire points comes for a variety of reasons according to the scheme’s operator. Charles Graham, Serco’s General Manager for Just Eat Cycles, said: “Virtual hire points were first introduced in areas where we wanted to monitor demand. After extensive research of trip data and consultation with users, we can now take steps to relocate hire points to where they are needed most and upgrade these to physical points.
“A key factor has been identifying locations which have the best 3G coverage to allow users to lock and unlock bikes with ease.
“Another factor in the relocation has been the vandalism of some of our virtual hire points which has had a negative impact on our customers and their experience. We’re now taking steps to either close hire points which have been repeatedly targeted, or relocate them to areas with greater security and transform them into physical hire points.”
500 bikes are strategically positioned around the city’s network which is made up of 80 hire points, with more to come over the summer. Operators hope the scheme will have 100 hire points by spring 2020.
The full list of hire points affected is below:
|Proposed closures||Close, Relocate, Replace or w/e only|
|St. John’s Road 2||Close and Review|
|Whitehouse Road||Close and Review|
|Corstorphine Road – Pinkhill||Close and Review|
|Dalry Road Lidl||Replace|
|South Trinity Road||Replace|
|Henderson Row||Close and Review|
|St. John’s Road 1||Close and Review|
|Dalry Road Co-op||Close and Review|
|Cramond Foreshore||w/e only|
|Waitrose Comely Bank||Replace|
|Logie Green Road||Replace|
|Shrubhill||Close and Review|
|Hillside Crescent 1||Close|
|West Newington Place||Close and Review|
|Whitehouse Loan||Close and Review|
|Queensferry Road||Close and Review|
Additional physical stations that will be installed by the end of September with the support of Sustrans are:
|15||Logie Green Road|
|24||East London Street|
|27||Edinburgh Park Central 1|
|28||Edinburgh Park Central 2|
|29||Edinburgh Park Station|