Finally! Brighton and Hove’s bike scheme announces launch date

The new shared bike scheme is to launch on September 1 (Photograph: David McHugh/Brighton Pictures)
The new shared bike scheme is to launch on September 1 (Photograph: David McHugh/Brighton Pictures)

Brighton and Hove's long-awaited shared bike scheme will go live next week, with 450 bikes at dozens of docking stations around the city.

BTN BikeShare will launch on Friday, September 1, with residents and visitors being able to hire and locate the bikes via the 'SoBi' app.

The new shared bike scheme is to launch on September 1 (Photograph: David McHugh/Brighton Pictures)

The new shared bike scheme is to launch on September 1 (Photograph: David McHugh/Brighton Pictures)

The 'Life Bikes' were manufactured by US pioneer Social Bicycle (‘SoBi’), and the Brighton scheme is the first in the UK to combine docking station and dock-less locking technology.

Users will be able to access and lock the bikes at official docking stations along the seafront - from Hove Lawns to near the Brighton Marina, as well as inland as far as the university campuses.

Around 30 of the official docking stations have been installed, with a further 20 to be installed during September.

But riders will also be able to secure bikes at public cycle parking locations.

Riders pay 3p per minute (min spend £1), or can purchase an annual membership which provides an hour of cycling every day for £72.

Tim Caswell, owner of Hourbike, the company providing and operating the scheme, said: “The scheme will be a very positive addition to the city, and has already largely been embraced by the community. We have seen how successful our bike share schemes have been in Reading, Oxford, and Liverpool - and these are cities that don’t have the same green credentials as Brighton and Hove, or the same bike technology.”

Jonathan Sharrock, chief executive of Coast to Capital, the local enterprise partnership (LEP) covering Brighton and Hove , said: “Coast to Capital provided significant funding for the Brighton and Hove Bike Share and we are delighted that it is launching this week. The scheme will deliver a multitude of environmental and health benefits, create new jobs and provide an excellent green transport option for both residents and visitors to the city.”

Infrastructure and start-up costs for the scheme are £1.45m. An award of £1.16m was granted by the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership with match funding of £290,000 from Brighton and Hove City Council.

To pre-register for BTN BikeShare membership, visit: www.btnbikeshare.com