Under-threat bikes to return

Blackpool's hire a bike scheme.
Blackpool's hire a bike scheme.
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BLACKPOOL’S under-threat Hire-a-Bike scheme is set to re-open for Easter.

But only one of the 50 hubs will be open.

And the whole scheme remains under review, with Blackpool Council still looking for a new operator for the bikes which were stopped for the winter because they were too expensive to run.

People will be able to borrow bikes, including some children’s cycles, from a manned hub at South Pier daily between 10am and 4pm from March 27 to April 3.

Coun Fred Jackson, cabinet member for street and transport, said: “This is a great opportunity for both local people and visitors to enjoy all that Blackpool has to offer. As well as being a great way to keep fit, cycling is a fantastic way to get around Blackpool, particularly because of the work we have done in the past to create dedicated cycle lanes.

“I hope the scheme will prove popular during the Easter holidays and that people will take advantage of this great offer.”

The move comes after a report last December called for a private sponsor to be found because the council could no longer afford the cost of running the scheme, which last year added up to £97,524.

London’s hire bikes, affectionately dubbed Boris Bikes after mayor Boris Johnson, are sponsored by Barclays.

“We are going through a procurement process to look for a new operator, but in the meantime we feel this is an opportunity to get some of the bikes out and monitor the level of interest,” added Coun Jackson

A special rate of £5 for four hours, plus a £10 returnable security deposit, is available to Fylde coast residents and cycle helmets are also available to rent. Visitors will be able to hire the bikes for £7 plus £10 deposit.

Residents will need to bring along ID which proves their address in order to claim the special deal.

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