LETS CYCLE: Electric nextbikes could come to Cardiff during this lockdown!
Electric Nextbikes could soon be coming to Cardiff, before the end of the current lockdown, according to the council’s head of transport.
The bike sharing scheme is set to be expanded with electric bikes rolled out across the city soon.
Electric bikes were introduced by Nextbike in Penarth last November, the hilly town’s first bike-sharing scheme.
Now Paul Carter, head of transport for Cardiff council, has said the council is working with Nextbike to explore where electric bikes could be set up in the city.
The scheme in Cardiff would be joined up with the one in Penarth, meaning riders could rent a bike in the city, then cycle across the barrage and return it to a station in the town.
Plans for the electric bikes were revealed to councillors on the environment scrutiny committee, which met on Tuesday, January 5. Councillors had asked what the impact of coronavirus was on the Nextbike scheme.
Mr Carter said: “There has been an impact with Covid. After the first lockdown, the numbers did start to recover again in quite an encouraging fashion. But further lockdowns are having an impact.
“Notwithstanding that, the good news is Nextbike is surviving, they are still managing to get a turnover, they’re still looking to extend their system. We’re working with both Nextbike and the Vale of Glamorgan council to introduce the electric bikes.
“What we’re doing during this most recent lockdown is starting to search for additional sites for the electric bikes, so that we can get those in during this lockdown period.”
Some councillors raised concerns about security, as the existing Nextbikes have suffered from vandalism and theft.
Mr Carter said: “We have learned a lot from the initial rollout of conventional bikes. We’re conscious we have got some problems there.
“Working very closely with South Wales Police, we’re making sure we locate the sites close to CCTV cameras, using the best technology like GPS. We feel we’re bolstering the security all the time. We’re endeavouring to cover off the kinds of concerns as soon as possible.”
Krysia Solheim, Nextbike UK MD, said: “We’re currently working with Cardiff Council to determine the e-bike station locations but, given the recent lockdown announcements this week, the timeline for the introduction of the bikes is under review.
“We hope to have them on the streets as soon as possible.”
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