Reading now has its own bike hire scheme to rival London’s Boris bikes. 200 bikes are available for use at 29 docking stations throughout the town, including at Reading Station, key locations in the town centre such as Broad Street and Town Hall Square, Thames Valley Business Park, The University of Reading, Whitley, Green Park, and north of the Thames into Caversham.
The scheme allows members and non-members to hire bikes at one docking station and deposit them back at any one of the docking stations, allowing for one-way journeys between the town centre and other points in Reading.
For members, use of ReadyBike is free for half an hour at the start of every rental and then £1 an hour after that, with a maximum rental cap of £4. Annual membership costs £50.
For people who do not want to be members, ReadyBike is also available for occasional or one-off use by registering online. The tariff for non members is the same as that for members (£1 an hour) but they do not get the first 30 minutes of every rental free and the maximum rental charge is at £7.
To rent a bike, users tap in their membership number and PIN. Once the selected bike has been chosen at the console, a light on top of the selected dock will begin to flash meaning it is ready to use. To return a bike, the user only has to insert their bike into any empty dock at any station. The dock will accept the bike and automatically close the open rental period for that user on an electronic system.
Reading’s Bike Hire scheme forms part of Reading Borough Council’s successful Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF) which totals £25 million worth of funding. The Council’s LSTF projects aim to create an additional 7,200 daily bus trips, 12,050 daily walking trips and 2,300 daily cycle trips across the town, whilst at the same time cutting congestion by up to 10% and doubling the percentage of people cycling to work in the next five years. Other projects being delivered as part of LSTF are a new shared-use pedestrian and cycle bridge over the Thames and new out of town park and ride sites.
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