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Birmingham showing everyone the way forward in bike travel


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Five virtual docking stations have been launched in Harborne, thanks to the support of Harborne Village Business Improvement District (BID).


This trial is the first time virtual docking stations have been used as part of West Midlands Cycle Hire and will enable users to end their ride and park their bike in a signposted and branded area, rather than in a traditional physical dock.


In addition, it makes Harborne the latest area in the region where local people are able to access the bikes, which have taken over 200,000 journeys since launch in March 2021.


Kate Smart, Harborne Village BID manager said; “As a proactive high street we wanted to offer our community and businesses an additional means to travel to Harborne. This pilot scheme supports the BID’s environmental agenda, whilst helping our visitors keep active and healthy.”


West Midlands cycling and walking commissioner, Adam Tranter, added: “The Cycle Hire scheme is a great asset to the region and we naturally want to open it up to as many people as we can so we’re happy to work on this innovative trial.


“We’re grateful to the support of the local community and the local BID in enabling us to see how virtual docks could help us expand in the future. It’s my ambition as Commissioner to make cycling accessible to all and a trial of this nature presents another potential solution to giving more people choice in how they choose to travel.”


The scheme, the largest in the UK outside London, was introduced by Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) as a convenient and more environmentally friendly alternative to the car for shorter journeys and is a large part of wider active travel plans for the region, to achieve the target of 5% of journeys taken by bike by 2023.


Charges are in place for people who dock incorrectly, a £5 charge if the bike is left outside of the virtual dock and a £10 charge if the ride ends outside the designated area detailed on the Beryl app.

Written by: David Watkins

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