Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Bike Hire in Brighton (and Hove)?

Today’s big news, front page in the Argus, is that Brighton is in line for a bike hire scheme. Or is it? Now I’m totally in favour of a bike hire scheme, having seen it working well in places as far flung as London and Montreal. image But reading the Argus, the cynic in me notes that this story provides some useful pro-bike spin whilst the council is being panned over the planned removal of the Grand Avenue cycle lanes. Taking the story in detail, the plans all look very provisional, as my italics on the following quotes indicate: “Boris bikes” could soon be rolled out in Brighton and Hove….If introduced….could be introduced in “months rather than years”…. “Pick up points” could be set up outside key locations….” And so on. The story in the print version of the Argus mentions that sponsors are needed, and concedes that none have been lined up. I hope I’m wrong about this – after all, I did scoop the Argus by revealing back in January that a bike hire scheme was being considered. (where I also let slip that Brighton and Hove Bus Company’s version of the Oyster travel card will be The Key, probably launching in the summer and that Brighton might be getting some hybrid buses) Of course, if Boris bikes are anything to go by, one of the biggest questions is going to be who gets to be the political face of Brighton (and Hove) rent-a-bike? Best not to hold your breath whilst our leaders start forming an orderly queue.

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