Users of Northampton’s very own bike hire scheme – Cycle CoNNect – have collectively pedalled a total of 29,561 miles since the initiative began one year ago, more than a complete circumnavigation of the globe.
In that time, Cycle CoNNect, which celebrates its first birthday on Wednesday July 15, has seen 6,200 rentals from the 1,369 people who have signed up to the initiative.
And last month, June 2015, saw the record number of rentals so far – 875 – with 142 more people subscribing during that month.
Cllr Michael Clarke, county council cabinet member for highways, transport and environment, said: “I’m delighted that Cycle CoNNect is proving so popular and the number of hires is increasing as we reach its first birthday.
“I think it has been a success for a number of reasons including the increasing popularity of cycling as an activity to keep fit and healthy and beat traffic congestion.
“Of course, the beauty of this scheme is that you can benefit from all the advantages of cycling without actually having to own a bike.
“I’m confident that as Northampton continues to regenerate and grow that Cycle CoNNect will also continue to develop.”
How does the scheme work?
Set up by Northamptonshire County Council and highways service provider KierWSP in partnership with Northampton Borough Council, Brackmills Estate and the University of Northampton, the £150k initiative provides 50 bikes for public hire inside the borough.
Initially starting with six hire-hubs, the number of docking stations has now increased to 10 with the latest being unveiled in Kingsthorpe in March this year.
The next phase of the initiative will be to increase the number of hubs on the network and secure sponsorship so that the scheme can moves towards being self-funded.
Where are the hubs?
The hubs are now located in:
- Town centre, Wood Hill
- Northampton Station
- Midsummer Meadow
- Becket’s Park
- University of Northampton, Avenue Campus
- University of Northampton, Park Campus
- Brackmills, Pavilion Drive
- Brackmills, Salthouse Road
- Brackmills, Gowerton Road
- Kingsthorpe, Harborough Road
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.
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.
The bicycles are fully-adjustable for size and comfort, and designed for casual and more experienced cyclists. The hire system is entirely automatic and the bicycles will be available to hire at any time of the day, seven days a week.