OPINION

Bikeshare pause is a shock

Posted On 04 Nov 2022 at 7:06 am

Councillor Lee Wares and Councillor Gill Mitchell at the launch of the bikeshare scheme in September 2017

I’ve just got back from a short break visiting my mum, and I was surprised to learn that we were pausing the Bikeshare scheme.

Many of us use and love the Brighton Bikeshare scheme so we were shocked and disappointed to hear the scheme will be paused for several months.

After I had my hip replacement, the physio said I had to cycle. As I live in a flat, and my own bike has to be carried up and down stairs, so that was obviously out.

Spacewords Brighton

The perfect solution was the Bikeshare scheme. I put my crutches in the basket, got on and cycled away.

I’ve loved the convenience of the scheme ever since, as you could just cycle one way and leave the bike without worry of theft or about having a drink with friends and getting home.

I am also very concerned that this issue wasn’t brought before committee before being publicised in local press. In fact, councillors got only eight minutes notice of the matter before a press release was issued.

Our Environment Transport and Sustainability (ETS) team will be asking some questions about this at the next meeting on 15 November.

We will also be asking about Park and Ride including demanding an update on progress on the feasibility study we called for and which was promised more than a year ago now.

A number of residents’ groups have taken the time and trouble to come to ETS committee to express their concerns about road safety, including requests for speed reduction and crossings, and we are still waiting for a report back from officers.

The Class Divide campaign have made several representations on behalf of a disadvantaged community to get better transport to schools as there is no local secondary school in Whitehawk, and we are still waiting for a report on that issue, too.

We will also ask a number of questions at the committee requesting responses in writing, given the broad responsibilities of the committee.

These include progress on a feasibility study for a new footbridge across the railway in Hove, road safety measures, graffiti, recycling, potholes and climate change mitigation measures.

The agenda for the November meeting will soon be published here, you can watch along live here, and you can follow the Labour group’s social media channels and website for updates as always.

Councillor Carmen Appich is the joint Labour opposition leader on Brighton and Hove City Council.

  1. Janet Reply

    You can buy light foldable bikes that even a child could lift which would be easier to use than this terrible clunky bikes were. I never saw the point of this scheme. The bikes were terrible and there are loads of bike hire shops.

    • Paul Temple Reply

      Wow what an utterly ignorant comment. Not everyone can afford a ‘light’ foldable bike, not everyone could carry a light foldable bike up stairs, not everyone even has storage room for a light foldable bike.
      The bike scheme was a real lifeline for many who don’t drive and want to partake in active travel to simply abandon in it is a dereliction of duty and about as anti green as you can be. Visiting Bournemouth recently, (a city far smaller than ours, they had a brilliant hire scheme with bikes, ebikes and scooters). Why can our council not get this right. As other have said what about the £28 million carbon neutral fund? This will not be forgotten in May 2023

      • You Know I'm Right Reply

        If you can’t afford a car get a motorbike, if you can’t afford a motorbike get a pushbike, if you can’t afford a pushbike walk… what makes you think others should pay for your transport?

        • Car Delenda Est Reply

          What are you on about?
          It was a bike rental service, you paid for the amount of time you used the bike for and it wasn’t cheap.

    • mart Burt Reply

      Janet
      While you can buy light foldable bikes that even a child could lift which would be easier to use than this terrible clunky bikes were the idea of Bike hire is for people to hire a bike for the period they wish to use it, for those who are unable to store or carry it and for single trip journeys, like Brighton Station down to Pool Valley Coach station etc etc.

      I’m not a cycle fan but I thought this scheme was a good idea and a tick for the greens, it’s management however something else as we’ve discovered.
      You say you never saw the point of this scheme fair enough, but for many people this scheme works and was very popular.
      The bikes were terrible, maybe, maybe not, I never used one so can’t make a personal opinion on them, but they looked practical enough.
      Yes correct, there are loads of bike hire shops, trouble with that most are not open 24 hours a day and you need to return the bike to the shop so a non starter if you want to hire a bike to make a single journey…

  2. Nathan Adler Reply

    The council has known for at least a year that the BTN bikeshare was on it’s last legs, (in fact potential new tenders held consultations with a variety of groups right at the beginning of the year). Something should have been in place by now. It’s no good putting aside a carbon neutral fund of £28 million and not supporting a new scheme, in fact what’s the point in new cycle lanes if many will be excluded from riding on them. No if’s, no but’s this should be the top priority. The situation is a complete failure on behalf of the administration.

  3. Adam Reply

    Another cluster **** by Phelim and the ship of fools 🤣

  4. mart Burt Reply

    I’m surprised the author is surprised by this announcement.
    The green council have a history of failures and mis-management along with poor forward planning. This council is reactive not proactive and will blame anyone except their own stupidity.

  5. Chris Reply

    The longer I am here the more convinced I am that people should rely on this council for nothing. Except maybe to make things worse. If they all just went home and did not come back the result would be an improvement.

  6. Mike Beasley Reply

    Another Green Win!

  7. Patrick Miller Reply

    Why is it that they still think labour is the opposition when labour is in a coalition with the greens

  8. Martin Reply

    I hope they’ll reappear as e-bikes this time? The Granite City has teamed up with the Big Issue to hire e-bikes, as you can read in the article below. Mind you, as an Aberdonian myself, £4.40 for 20 minutes sounds expensive but would be good to cycle up New England Hill and then on to the top of Devil’s Dyke.

    “Aberdeen electric bike hire scheme set to launch in city with bikes available on pay-as-you go basis
    Electric bikes will be available to hire in Aberdeen as of Wednesday thanks to the partnership with Big Issue e-Bikes and Aberdeen City Council. The bikes will not have docking stations and can instead be hired virtually.
    The e-Bike scheme will launch in the city this week
    Hundreds of electric bikes are being rolled out across Aberdeen this week as part of a new hire scheme.
    As of Wednesday (November 9), the bikes will be available to use on a pay-as-you go basis as part of the project launched by Big Issue e-Bikes and Aberdeen City Centre.
    Aberdeen will follow in the footsteps of other cities like Inverness and Dundee where e-bike hire schemes have already proven to be successful.
    Around 40 different spots will be supplied with the bikes with the full rollout set to take place next year. Jan Tore Endresen, Big Issue e-Bikes CEO, said: “We are delighted to be able to offer electric bikes to Aberdeen.
    “They are fun to use and will make shorter trips easier – and benefit vulnerable people. We see how bikes lead to increased travel by public transport in other cities and hope to have the same effect on travel patterns in Aberdeen for a better environment.
    “We hope the public will look after our bikes and take care of the offer so that we can travel more sustainably in the future”.
    The firm says that the bikes, weighing just over 20 kilos, have a range of around 35 miles and feature an adjustable seat, phone holder and a bell. All tyres are puncture proof and the pedal assist engages as the rider starts pedalling.
    The Big Issue e-Bikes app is where the bikes can be rented and those who register early are in line to receive free rental time. The bikes will cost 60p to unlock with a free minute before a charge of 20p per minute thereafter.
    The bike costs £2.40 for a 10-minute hire and £4.40 for 20 minutes. The rent per bike is capped at £12 for up to 12 hours. A £3 deposit is also in place which is returned after the rent has ended.”

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