Bristol have been trialling a bike rental scheme for about a year and I had high hopes for it. I paid my £20 in support of the scheme even though there were no bike stations in the places I needed them. I feel if there were more bikes and more stations it would have been ideal. (see my comment from back then…).
Unfortunately, they’ve decided to end the scheme deeming it unsuccessful:
Dear Hourbike Member,
It is with regret that I have to report that the bike sharing
pilot project that we started in partnership with Bristol City
Council, The University of the West of England and First Great
Western Trains is coming to a close. The intention of the current
pilot was to test the acceptance of the concept and determine the
potential demand for such a scheme with the hope of expanding it
beyond a pilot. Feedback from yourselves and from enquiries has
clearly shown that there is an interest in this type of scheme
but the Cycling City project has determined that it has more
pressing priorities and therefore cannot commit further funding at
this point in time.
The support of Bristol City Council both in terms of finance but
also the credibility of the scheme is particularly important, and
though other funding was received from the other founding partners
– First Great Western and the University of West of England – the
significant majority of funding has come from private investment.
Without the support of the local authority the scheme is unable
to attract further private investment.
My apologies to any of you that have noticed the recent reduction
in the availability of bikes at the stands. Our discussions with
the city council have taken some time to come to a conclusion.
We are hoping to continue the rental stations at Parkway and UWE,
and of course your memberships are still valid at the growing list
of our other Hourbike operated schemes in the UK, so please keep
your card and membership number for future use. I am a strong
believer in the value of large scale public bicycle rental schemes
and we are being successful in other towns around the country that
are investing in similar services, and I believe you will shortly
be seeing other schemes becoming available across the UK. This is
not a decision that I have taken lightly, but hope you understand
some of the reasoning behind the change.
If you would like further information from us I will do my best to
respond to you personally.
I’m gutted 🙁