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Bike & Go hits road in Liverpool

Council's own cycle hire scheme put back until next year

Written by . Published on August 13th 2013.

Bike & Go hits road in Liverpool

WAIT for a cycle scheme to come along and, like buses, they all come at once.

Mayor Joe Anderson’s Boris-bike like hire scheme is heading this way. That hire scheme, though, has suffered a slow puncture and won’t start till next spring, said a Town Hall spokesman (sorry about that). 

What has arrived on time is a rather similar, Merseyrail-backed scheme called Bike & Go. Bikes can be hired for the day at 17 railway stations across Merseyside,  at a cost of £3.80 for 24 hours. 

Sound familiar?

It could well be an attractive way of getting around for day-trippers, but whether the pinstriped brigade will want to used pedal power to reach high-power executive meetings remains to be seen. 

Thanks to the likes of Sir Bradley Wiggins, more people are being attracted to cycling. But car drivers will need to learn quickly they are not the owners or custodians of the highways, they have to accept sharing.

Cyclists are second only to caravanners as villains on the Queen’s highways in the eyes of many impatient car drivers. 

Hopefully increased numbers will eventually earn the right of cyclists to take their rightful place in the road network. 


The network of cycle ways across Liverpool are also seen by some as convenient parking lanes. There seems little point in creating special cycle lanes unless there is enforcement of the rules. 

Cycle Lane
The national launch of Bike & Go took place at Liverpool’s Central Station, claiming to be the UK’s first major train station cycle hire scheme. It’s a joint venture involving three rail companies, Merseyrail, Northern Rail and Greater Anglia.

The scheme is modelled on a hire scheme operated by train operators in Holland. 

Phillip Darnton, executive director of the Bicycle Association of Great Britain, and a one time executive with Lever Brothers at Port Sunlight, returned to Merseyside to launch the scheme. To use the cycles people have to sign up and pay a £10 annual fee and then hire a bike for £3.80 a day. It works out at more or less the cost of a return bus fare. 

Mr Darnton said: “ Bike & Go provides a great new way for people to fall back in love with cycling. It’s also a practical way for commuters to try a different way of transport for getting to their final destination after travelling on a train.” 

It has cost £2m to set up Bike & Go, with £1.65m coming from the Department of Transport. 

Meanwhile Liverpool City Council is assessing which of seven operators will be chosen to operate its own scheme, due to launch next spring. 

That scheme will see about 1,000 cycles available for hire with the ability to return them to any docking station. The Liverpool Council scheme is being championed by cycling hero Chris Boardman. 

For details of Bike & Go visit their website

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14 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousAugust 13th 2013.

I think these cycle schemes should be put on hold until the new Royal is built. Car drivers in Liverpool are too crazy and ignorant to enable cycling to be safe.

5 Responses: Reply To This...
Dingle BellAugust 15th 2013.

That's right! Ban the cyclists who were here first AND have a LEGAL RIGHT to be on the roads! Why not pistol-whip stupid drivers instead? They are the ones causing all the deaths and casualties.

School RunAugust 15th 2013.

Especially the fat ones in four-wheel-drives. They never look around properly, always cut right-hand turns at junctions and they couldn't reverse neatly into an 8-yard goal mouth if their lives depended on it.

Mickeydrippin'August 15th 2013.

I am neither a cyclist nor a motorist but have heard many a car driver cursing cyclists saying that many of them totally ignore the basic Highway Code, they don't pay towards the upkeep of the roads and they do they have any insurance against accidents. There are also the regular complaints about cyclists riding dangerously on pavements and colliding with pedestrians. If more cycling is to be encouraged, there has to be consideration shown by ALL road users towards each other and to pedestrians.

Mickeydrippin'August 15th 2013.

The fifth line should read of course............ "and they do not have any insurance"....

Urbane CyclistAugust 17th 2013.

Motorists don't pay for the upkeep of the roads, that money comes from general taxation; paid by everyone including pedestrians and cyclists. Cyclists, like pedestrians have a legal right to use the roads, whereas motorists are subject to a conditional licence. There is no requirement for cyclists to have insurance. If there was is it likely that the antisocial yobs who ride bicycles on pavements would have it? There are 1.2million uninsured cars on Britain’s roads. If the police haven’t the resources to catch them how do you expect them to chase up cyclists as well?

Sunny JimAugust 14th 2013.

Weather permitting, Boris's scheme in association with Barclay's bank is currently being heavily subsidised, perhaps LCC are waiting to see how that scheme fares, or are awaiting the long range weather forecast. I've no wish to rain on anybody's parade, but it may be due a rethink.

MR MagooAugust 14th 2013.

Never neverland that rings a Tinkerbelle. What about them? Apparently they're full of bikes and dykes, so I am reliably informed from Waikiki. I should have gone to specsavers.

Squeaky RimAugust 17th 2013.

How does the system work though? For instance what if the 'docking station' at your destination is full? Are you expected to take it back where you found it, making you late and leaving you out of pocket?

good and hardAugust 17th 2013.

I had my first view of these bikes in Central Station yesterday and I'd be interested to know what the tyre pressures are. The bikes look quite heavy and the tyres are wide so there could be a tiring level of friction unless the tyres are pumped up good and hard.

furious pumpingAugust 17th 2013.

I'd say at a guess you'd need 60-70psi in them, perhaps even 80psi.

puffing and blowingAugust 17th 2013.

Yes they are are balloon tyres, if they aren't hard they'll present a lot of rolling resistance. If it's too much effort moisture might strike and who wants to get all sweaty and sticky?

Ardent pumperAugust 2nd 2014.

I have yet to avail myself of either of the two cycle-hire schemes available in Liverpool. As Liverpool Confidential reviews restaurants, why not compare and contrast the ‘Bike and Go’ and the ‘City Bike’ scheme? Comparison could be made of the ease of use, “docking” arrangements and cost of these services.

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