New take on the cycle hire scheme

bromptondockWith elections coming up in London in 2012, no doubt Boris will be flaunting the success of the cycle hire scheme. However, perhaps there’s an alternative take on cycle hire as a solution to congestion problems in modern cities.

Instead of the heavy bikes that epitomise cycle hire schemes, this alternative idea relies on folding bikes. Now that you’ve read the words folding bikes, there’s no doubt you will be able to guess the next sentence. The scheme is being championed by the makers of the Brompton folding bikes.

brompton-dockIt’s called the Brompton Dock. Currently, the pilot scheme has started at Guildford train station in a partnership with South West trains. Using a membership smartcard the commuter can then undock a folding bike and take it on the train with them.

Membership costs £50 per year and the hire costs £4 per day, £2 per day if you hire for more than a week or £1.60 a day for a monthly hire. Bikes can be hired 24 hours a day.

Expansion is in the works as Brompton are seeking to bring the scheme to other areas.

The scheme is similar in style to the Streetcars scheme. Where cars can be hired from various locations, eliminating the hassle of car ownership. Whilst 40 bikes is obviously a very limited trial size, it’s exciting to see where this will expand to next.

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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.

7 Responses to New take on the cycle hire scheme

  1. Gandalf 05/09/2011 at 10:32 am #

    This looks promising, though I was disappointed to learn that you cannot use the dock for your own Brompton.

    If someone tries the scheme and as a result decides to invest in their own Brommie they’ve had it. Very shortsighted IMHO, and what about owners of other makes of folding bike?

    • phil 05/09/2011 at 12:24 pm #

      I thought the same thing when i glanced at the picture before reading the article, thought that would be good addition as well.

      Even so still an interesting idea, and the pricing seems quite reasonable and geared towards people who are prepared to do a fair amount of cycling rather than one off trips.

    • Uzair Siddiqi 05/09/2011 at 9:24 pm #

      Don’t think it’s so useful to have to use a hire only Brompton. Very short sighted indeed!

    • Karl Roche 06/09/2011 at 12:20 pm #

      A good suggestion no doubt, perhaps Brompton will look at doing that too.

  2. @Al__S 05/09/2011 at 11:43 am #

    South West Trains have an existing Brompton scheme operating at Waterloo: http://www.southwesttrains.co.uk/bromptonbikes.aspx

    • Andreas 05/09/2011 at 3:24 pm #

      I didn’t know that! Thanks for the heads up :)

  3. Frank 21/09/2011 at 10:05 am #

    This sounds like a great idea. I heard of this bikes. These can be fold up so they fit into a little storage box. I think this idea is good for big town where isn´t enough space for all the bikes.

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