Here’s everything we know about Adur & Worthing’s new bike-rental scheme

Councillors have given a firm thumbs-up to the idea of a large-scale bike and electric bike rental scheme being set up in Worthing and Adur.

Friday, 16th July 2021, 9:12 am
Updated Friday, 16th July 2021, 9:45 am

Work has already started to develop a map of potential hub locations where people will be able to pick up or drop of one of the 322 bikes.

During a meeting of the joint strategic committee on Tuesday (July 13), members agreed that both councils could now start looking for an operator.

The scheme would essentially be an extension of Brighton’s BTN Bikeshare, which is one of the most successful bike rental schemes in the UK outside of London.

An operator is expected to be in place late this year and the plan is to launch the scheme in two phases, with 38 hubs opening in phase one and another 13 in phase two.

Half of the bikes available will be e-bikes.

But it won’t be cheap.

A report to the committee said it would cost £830,350 to buy the bikes and the infrastructure, with an estimated annual operating cost of £233,419 for the first phase.

The benefits, though, would see cycling opened to more people, with the aim of improving air quality and reducing traffic congestion.

The scheme received unanimous support from the committee, but Worthing leader Daniel Humphreys did raise a couple of concerns – the state of the roads and the law regarding the use of e-scooters.

Brighton & Hove City Council is considering including e-scooters in the scheme in the future and Adur and Worthing councils are likely to do the same.

But at the moment the only e-scooters that can be used on public roads are those rented as part of government-backed trials.

Mr Humphreys told the meeting: “The legislation does need to catch up.”

He added: “The other thing that needs to catch up if we’re going to make cycling a lot safer and a lot more available – and not just safe for the users of the bicycles but also pedestrians and other vehicle users – is the infrastructure.

“We do need to see that infrastructure catch up across Adur and Worthing.

“We are not where many other parts of the country are with regards to the design of our highway infrastructure.

“It’s not perilously dangerous out there but equally it could be an awful lot better.”

He called on West Sussex County Council to work with Worthing and Adur on improving the roads ‘to make all of this as good as it possibly can be, to deliver all the benefits it possibly can’.