'Cycle CoNNect' - the new name for Northampton's bike hire scheme

21 March 2014

After an excellent response to the county council’s competition to name Northampton’s new bicycle hire scheme, a winning title has been found.

Cycle CoNNect’ was chosen as the name for the initiative of over 500 entries from across the county, including many entered by schoolchildren.

The name represents the network of connecting locations where you can hire the bicycles in a simple, quick and low-cost way in order to cycle your journey around the town. The ‘NN’ establishes the scheme as unique to the town and signifies the postcode of the county, easily recognisable to people living, travelling and visiting in Northamptonshire.

Who chose the name?

Jo Ewan, from Northampton, came up with the winning name and as a result wins an iPad mini. Jo said: “I was delighted to win the competition to name the forthcoming cycle hire scheme.

“I hope this scheme proves to be successful with Northampton residents of all ages, what a great way to get around town and keep active at the same time."

Set up by Northamptonshire County Council and highways service provider MGWSP in partnership with Northampton Borough Council, Brackmills Estate and the University of Northampton, the £150k initiative will provide 50 bikes for public hire from 10 docking sites inside the borough.

Initially six hubs will be available with the remaining four to open in the autumn.

Hire costs £1 up to one hour, then £1 for each additional hour up to a maximum of £5 per day. However initially, as a promotional offer, the first 30 minutes of each journey will be free of charge.

Registration is free, though on registration, users will have to add an initial £3 of credit to their account, which will remain in place until they use it for rentals.

How will it work?

The bicycles will be fully adjustable for the comfort of all users and designed to be suitable to ride for casual and more experienced cyclists. They will all be of the same colour and design to make them easily recognisable as Cycle CoNNect bicycles.

It is part of the county council’s wider ambition to improve sustainable transport links in Northamptonshire.

Cllr Michael Clarke, county council cabinet member for transport, highways and environment, said: “I’m delighted with the response to the contest to find a name for this exciting new initiative. It was quite a tough job settling on a winning name as there were many creative entries.

“As a county council we’re very keen to encourage sustainable forms of transport and this can be a challenge particularly in the current financial climate.

“However this relatively low-cost scheme is a clever way of encouraging people to discover the advantages of pedal power.

“Not only is cycling beneficial in terms of health improvements but by getting more people cycling it helps reduce traffic congestion and associated air pollution.”

For further information about the upcoming Cycle CoNNect initiative, please contact:
E-mail CycleNorthants@mgwsp.co.uk
Tweet @CycleNorthants
Like us at Facebook.com/CycleNorthants


Questions and answers:

Who can hire a bike?
Residents, commuters, students and visitors to the town – anyone who wants to get around Northampton easily and cheaply.

How does Cycle CoNNect work?
Cycle CoNNect is very simple to use. You will need to register as a member of the scheme for free, which you will be able to do online or over the phone. Once you are signed up as a member, you will receive a membership number and PIN. Simply key in your membership number and PIN at any of the docking stations and select a bike to rent. The bicycle will be released from the electronic locking system for you to cycle away. You can return the bike to any docking station, not just the one you rented it from.

How much does it cost?
Hire costs £1 up to one hour, then £1 for each additional hour up to a maximum of £5 per day. However initially, as a promotional offer, the first 30 minutes of each journey will be free of charge.

What about helmets?
Helmets are not provided as we are unable to guarantee the safety of the helmets provided. However we do encourage cyclists to wear a helmet and appropriate clothing.

I do not know Northampton. Where should I go?
Each bicycle hire docking station will display a map of the immediate vicinity and show where the nearest docking stations in the area.

What if the docking station where I want to park the bike is already full?
In this case you will be able to lock the bike securely to the docking station using the combination lock attached to the bike, and you will just need to call Cycle CoNNect to end your hire period.

What if there is a technical problem with the docking station I want to return the bike to?
In this case you will be able to lock the bike securely to the docking station using the combination lock attached to the bike, and you will just need to call Cycle CoNNect to end your hire period.

How will anti-social behaviour or criminal damage to the bikes be managed?
The bikes are designed to specific criteria – to be pleasant to ride, unisex and fully-adjustable. But the frame design and many of the parts of the bikes are not compatible with common retail bikes. This makes them less attractive to steal or to remove parts. The removable parts of the bikes are protected by anti-vandal fixings, requiring specialist tools to fix or remove them.


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