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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.

Just Eat Cycles at the City Chambers

The full list of hire points affected is below:

Proposed closuresClose, Relocate, Replace or w/e only 
Thirlestane RoadReplace 
BalgreenReplace 
St. John’s Road 2Close and Review 
Whitehouse RoadClose and Review 
Corstorphine Road – PinkhillClose and Review 
Dalry Road LidlReplace 
Leith WalkReplace 
South Trinity RoadReplace 
Henderson RowClose and Review 
St. John’s Road 1Close and Review 
Dalry Road Co-opClose and Review 
Cramond Foreshorew/e only 
Macdonald RoadReplace 
Waitrose Comely BankReplace 
Riego StreetReplace 
Gamekeeper’s RoadReplace 
Logie Green RoadReplace 
ShrubhillClose and Review 
Hillside Crescent 1Close 
West Newington PlaceClose and Review 
Whitehouse LoanClose and Review 
Queensferry RoadClose and Review 
 

Additional physical stations that will be installed by the end of September with the support of Sustrans are:

NumberLocation
1Chambers Street
2Surgeons Hall
3Rockstar North
4Haymarket Terrace
5EICC
6Tollcross
7Tron Kirk
8Gorgie Road
9Meggetland
10Usher Hall
11Pleasance Gym
12Grassmarket
13Boroughmuir School
14Hope Street
15Logie Green Road
16Sciennes Road
17Dean Street
18Scotland Street
19Crichton Street
20Royal Infirmary
21Edinburgh Zoo
22Holyrood Road
23Leith Walk
24East London Street
25Riego Street
26Edinburgh Gateway
27Edinburgh Park Central 1
28Edinburgh Park Central 2
29Edinburgh Park Station
30Saughton