NSL, the public sector service specialist, has this week launched its latest service – the Belfast public bike share scheme: Coca-Cola Zero Belfast Bikes.
The Scheme is funded by Belfast City Council (BCC) and the Department for Regional Development (DRD NI), and is sponsored by Coca-Cola Zero.
The first phase of the Scheme sees 300 bikes in thirty docking stations situated at the city’s key sites, including outside City Hall. The first phase will be evaluated in due course, which could lead to a second phase expansion to Belfast’s suburbs.
It costs just £20 to join the Scheme for a year and in order to use the bikes, users must be registered, either online or by telephone, following which they will receive a membership number. There is a smartphone app for both ioS and Android phones.
The bikes are provided by German firm nextbike, which is based in Leipzig. nextbike is present in more than seventy cities, reflecting how popular bike share schemes have become throughout the world.
Belfast Lord Mayor, Councillor Arder Carson said: “These bikes are a superb addition to the city’s transport links, a boost to its economy and a further enhancement to our tourism offering.
“Thanks to sponsorship by Coca-Cola Zero, we can keep down the price of both the annual membership and the hire charges for this fantastic addition to Belfast. Short journeys can be made so quickly and cheaply – it’s a great way to get across town and to see more of the city.
“We have already had a huge amount of interest in the scheme, with lots of enquiries about extending it. We’re hoping it will be a big success and we’ll be able to look at expanding the network in the near future. ”
Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy said: “Cycling offers an enormous range of benefits. It’s healthy, it’s low cost and sustainable, and it’s fun! “I am delighted to support this scheme, both in terms of the funding my department has committed and by adding my own personal support for this forward-thinking initiative.
“Cycling, whether for recreation or short distance commuting can help us develop and maintain an active personal lifestyle and I would encourage everyone living, working, or visiting Belfast to give the Belfast cycle hire scheme a try.”
The Belfast Bikes scheme is supported by Coca-Cola Zero, which also sponsors bikeshare schemes in Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Galway.
The Scheme isn’t NSL’s first venture into public hire bikes. Its award-winning technical consultancy, Project Centre, was involved in the planning of London’s Barclays Bikes – and the London Borough of Waltham Forest’s mini-Holland scheme, which is underway.
A media day was held in advance of the launch, resulting in positive coverage throughout the regional press and on social media. A preview for those who had already joined up to the Scheme was held on Sunday (26th). The new members were allowed to take the bikes out for a free two-hour spin from Belfast’s City Hall, where a samba band played, and Coca-Cola’s promotional team handed out goodies.
Mark Hoskin, NSL Local Government Director, said: “It’s fantastic to see how enthusiastically the people of Belfast have welcomed the bikes – it’s all about urban mobility and keeping people and vehicles flowing – and these bikes help to do that, giving people another option for that short journey across town. NSL is really excited to be operating this well received Scheme.”
For further information, please contact Luke Allen, Director of Communications, 07468 701361, or Luke.Allen@nsl.co.uk
Notes to Editors:
NSL is a leading UK company specialising in the delivery and management of frontline services in complex public sector and regulated environments. Our core services include business process management; enforcement; passenger and social transport; street management and technical design services. We currently have over 70 contracts with local, regional and central government, as well as with the airport and the private sector, and have delivered contracts for high-profile government agencies, such as The Royal Parks, DVLA, Transport for London and Transport Northern Ireland.