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Free week of city cycling sparks chain reaction

Published: 16 May 2019

Over 5,000 trips were made using Edinburgh’s new city bikes last week after Just Eat Cycles made the scheme completely free to use for seven days.

Between Sunday 5 May and Saturday 11 May 5,045 trips were made by 3,344 new users who signed up to the free deal.

5,327 miles were covered with the bikes in seven days – the equivalent of 409 times along Edinburgh’s 13 mile long city bypass, or 57 return trips to Glasgow.

The free week was planned to coincide with Edinburgh hosting the UK’s first ever Open Streets event on Sunday 5 May. A number of city centre streets will continue to close to traffic on the first Sunday of each month for residents to enjoy walking, cycling and local attractions in a relaxed and car-free environment.

The scheme’s operators say that the free week was the busiest to date since the scheme launched in September last year and expects usage rates to rise as a result of introducing more people to the bikes.

Charles Graham, Serco’s General Manager for Just Eat Cycles, said: “We’re really pleased that so many people jumped at the chance to try out the bikes during the free week. It’s our hope that usage rates will continue to grow, especially as the weather begins to improve and more people uncover the benefits of cycling in the city.”

500 bikes are strategically positioned around the city’s network which is made up of 80 hire points, with yet more set to come over the summer.