Author Topic: West Midlands finally gets a bike hire scheme  (Read 4575 times)

Kim

  • Timelord
West Midlands finally gets a bike hire scheme
« on: 20 March, 2018, 02:32:39 pm »
Bromptondock's been around for ages now, but that's no substitute for short-term hire schemes.  We had a car-based one in Birmingham for a while, which was a flop.  Looks like this might actually happen:

http://www.birminghamupdates.com/nextbike-has-been-revealed-as-west-midlands-bike-share-operator/

https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/brums-version-boris-bikes-way-14434411

Not stopping at the local authority borders is likely to be important if it catches on, and integrating with the Swift card (a sort of Wet Midlands version of Oyster that doesn't work on the trains) is excellent.

Of course the main problem is that the West Midlands Conurbation makes That London look pleasant to cycle in, and that the easiest way to get around central Birmingham is as a pedestrian.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Моя планета голубая, я люблю тебя и обнимаю
Re: West Midlands finally gets a bike hire scheme
« Reply #1 on: 20 March, 2018, 02:51:11 pm »
I think Nextbike operate in Bath, but all I can tell you is that they are grey and therefore far inferior to the Yobikes in Bristol, which are yellow:D
Riding a bike through a city is like navigating the collective neural pathways of a vast global mind.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: West Midlands finally gets a bike hire scheme
« Reply #2 on: 20 March, 2018, 03:06:47 pm »
I think Nextbike operate in Bath, but all I can tell you is that they are grey and therefore far inferior to the Yobikes in Bristol, which are yellow:D

It's a bit rubbish, yes (though to be fair, grey does fit in with the general colourscheme of the West Midlands Conurbation).  We do have the best Bromptondock bike colour, thobut:


Brompton Bike Hire comes to Birmingham by Birmingham City Council, on Flickr

rower40

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Re: West Midlands finally gets a bike hire scheme
« Reply #3 on: 20 March, 2018, 03:38:29 pm »
Note to self: Brompton + Birmingham => Purple lurgi and the kind of facelessness that suggests a Dr. Who villian is in operation.
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Kim

  • Timelord
Re: West Midlands finally gets a bike hire scheme
« Reply #4 on: 08 February, 2021, 09:37:05 pm »
An email advertising this popped into my inbox this morning:  https://www.wmcyclehire.co.uk/

I note they cunningly chose Sutton Coldfield for the initial deployment.  This is evidence of Brummie joined-up thinking, as they just removed the pop-up cycle infra from Sutton Coldfield in order to fit more cars in.  It's still vapourwear until they have double-digit bikes and more than one dock.

The Beryl app seems to be a national thing.  Good name.

Prices are disappointing, especially compared to the Voi Scooters (currently £1 to unlock, 20p/min)

Cudzoziemiec

  • Моя планета голубая, я люблю тебя и обнимаю
Re: West Midlands finally gets a bike hire scheme
« Reply #5 on: 08 February, 2021, 10:22:14 pm »
Quote
It costs £1 to unlock a bike and then just 5p per minute of cycling.
Wow. The Yo bikes in Bristol cost £1 per hour.
Riding a bike through a city is like navigating the collective neural pathways of a vast global mind.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: West Midlands finally gets a bike hire scheme
« Reply #6 on: 08 February, 2021, 10:25:52 pm »
Quote
It costs £1 to unlock a bike and then just 5p per minute of cycling.
Wow. The Yo bikes in Bristol cost £1 per hour.

Yeah, a bit of a change from the "free for the first 30 minutes" and "£30/year" originally announced.  Also 1500 bikes rather than the original 5000.  At least you won't need a driving licence?

Cudzoziemiec

  • Моя планета голубая, я люблю тебя и обнимаю
Re: West Midlands finally gets a bike hire scheme
« Reply #7 on: 08 February, 2021, 10:28:55 pm »
Not sure how many Yos there used to be or how many survive. I reckon most are in the docks by now, and I note Birmingham's got far more miles of canals then Bristol has river.
Riding a bike through a city is like navigating the collective neural pathways of a vast global mind.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: West Midlands finally gets a bike hire scheme
« Reply #8 on: 08 February, 2021, 10:37:25 pm »
Hopefully being a no-the-other-kind-of-dock-based scheme should help with that.

Surprisingly few Vois have ended up in the canals so far, but enough for them to want to improve the waterproofing.

Re: West Midlands finally gets a bike hire scheme
« Reply #9 on: 08 February, 2021, 11:18:39 pm »
I've let my Liverpool bike hire subscription lapse.  There are very few actual bikes anymore,  they've mostly been replaced by E-bikes & significantly fewer of them.    The Voi scooters are very popular though.  Yet to try them.



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Kim

  • Timelord
Re: West Midlands finally gets a bike hire scheme
« Reply #10 on: 08 March, 2021, 01:34:45 pm »
And it's launched: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-birmingham-56320798

I'm hoping they installed some mudguards and pedals on the bikes first.

Re: West Midlands finally gets a bike hire scheme
« Reply #11 on: 08 March, 2021, 02:12:29 pm »
The West Midlands bikes have been produced by Pashley Cycles in Stratford-upon Avon, Warwickshire, with other parts made elsewhere in the region.
Not fast & rarely furious

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Re: West Midlands finally gets a bike hire scheme
« Reply #12 on: 08 March, 2021, 03:05:00 pm »
They're the same as the Sadiq Cycles in that there London, aren't they?

Re: West Midlands finally gets a bike hire scheme
« Reply #13 on: 08 March, 2021, 03:50:25 pm »
And it's launched: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-birmingham-56320798

I'm hoping they installed some mudguards and pedals on the bikes first.
Looks like it, although the front one doesn't seem to come very far forward:
https://www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/news/west-midlands-cycle-hire-launched-wolverhampton

Cudzoziemiec

  • Моя планета голубая, я люблю тебя и обнимаю
Re: West Midlands finally gets a bike hire scheme
« Reply #14 on: 08 March, 2021, 04:03:05 pm »
The West Midlands bikes have been produced by Pashley Cycles in Stratford-upon Avon, Warwickshire, with other parts made elsewhere in the region.
Imagines if Bristol's Yo bikes were made at Right Argos...
Riding a bike through a city is like navigating the collective neural pathways of a vast global mind.

Gattopardo

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Re: West Midlands finally gets a bike hire scheme
« Reply #15 on: 08 March, 2021, 04:34:51 pm »
Serco are involved.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: West Midlands finally gets a bike hire scheme
« Reply #16 on: 09 March, 2021, 06:14:56 pm »
Serco involvement is a perennial tragedy of modern-life-is-rubbishness, unfortunately.

Meanwhile, your intrepid Middle Earth correspondent has crossed the Aston Gap, battled her way through the Mad Max dystopia of Erdington, and climbed the bastard hill on the A5127 to reach the Royal Town Of I Can't Believe It's Not Birmingham, in search of...

(click to show/hide)

So yeah.  Hopefully they'll make it as far as Birmingham.

Starting the deployment in Sutton Coldfield makes sense in as much as they seem to be getting good use by people going for a pootle in Sutton Park, without needing a vast number of docks.  The woman in my first photo hadn't cycled since she was 6, so there's that.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Моя планета голубая, я люблю тебя и обнимаю
Re: West Midlands finally gets a bike hire scheme
« Reply #17 on: 09 March, 2021, 06:38:42 pm »
Sounds mostly good then?
Quote
Unlike the London bikes, the dock is completely passive, with the electronics in the bike.  Which should make deployment of the docks a lot cheaper.
But presumably makes the bikes more expensive. And nobody ever threw a dock in the, er, dock.

Quote
The woman in my first photo hadn't cycled since she was 6, so there's that.
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Now that I'm six, I'm as clever as clever,
I think I'll stay six for ever and ever.
Riding a bike through a city is like navigating the collective neural pathways of a vast global mind.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: West Midlands finally gets a bike hire scheme
« Reply #18 on: 09 March, 2021, 07:39:21 pm »
I should add that since the lock mechanism is part of the bike, these have the bonus feature that you can lock (with the yellow lever) and unlock them (with the app) in arbitrary locations, keeping your hire period running.  Useful if you're popping to the post office or something.

It also means they could be operated docklessly in future, which I'm less keen about.

Re: West Midlands finally gets a bike hire scheme
« Reply #19 on: 09 March, 2021, 07:46:54 pm »
Excellent write up.

To unlock, you use the Beryl app, either by NFC or by entering a 6-digit bike number.  As if by magic, something goes *CLUNK* on the bike and it can be released.  No getting a code from the Boris Computer on a little slip of paper, no crappy memberane switches.

And no oik shoulder surfacing the large print number and nicking a bike on your credit card.

Quote
The seatpost clamp design seems improved on the Boris Bike design, and has a long lever for plenty of clamping force.

The same design is used on the Pashley Boris Bikes.

But presumably makes the bikes more expensive. And nobody ever threw a dock in the, er, dock.

Boris Bike stations require ludicrous amounts of labour. The bikes would have to be hugely more expensive for this not to be a big net saving. And presumably they have GPS and can phone home after being dumped by the aforementioned oiks (anywhere but underwater), which I'm not sure the London ones can.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Моя планета голубая, я люблю тебя и обнимаю
Re: West Midlands finally gets a bike hire scheme
« Reply #20 on: 26 March, 2021, 01:51:55 pm »
Yo Bikes are pulling out of Bristol, or perhaps closing down totally. I'm not sure if they'll actually collect all their bikes or maybe they'll be abandoned to the mercies of the streets. It would be nice if they donated them to something like the Bike Project or the scheme for prisoners.
https://www.bristol247.com/news-and-features/news/yobikes-no-longer-available-for-hire-in-bristol/
Riding a bike through a city is like navigating the collective neural pathways of a vast global mind.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: West Midlands finally gets a bike hire scheme
« Reply #21 on: 20 May, 2021, 03:17:46 pm »
A several of bike docks have sprung up around the University and along the A38.  Presumably in town too.

Bikes are apparently coming on the 24th.

robgul

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Re: West Midlands finally gets a bike hire scheme
« Reply #22 on: 20 May, 2021, 07:04:28 pm »
A several of bike docks have sprung up around the University and along the A38.  Presumably in town too.

Bikes are apparently coming on the 24th.

Reports have reached me of sightings of actual bikes in docking stations in Knowle/Solihull

Re: West Midlands finally gets a bike hire scheme
« Reply #23 on: 20 May, 2021, 08:14:53 pm »
We've got bike hire in Wolvo all set up.
Second attempt I think.
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Re: West Midlands finally gets a bike hire scheme
« Reply #24 on: 20 May, 2021, 08:39:33 pm »
Yes, it's the second attempt (The first one failed after the supplier pulled out I think). The docks are almost all within the ring road, I've not actually seen a bike in use yet but that may be because I'm usually in and out of town by 9 a.m. Sheena says she has seen some in use.