Belfast’s public bikeshare scheme, Coca-Cola Zero Belfast Bikes, launched today, Monday 27th April 2015.

The Belfast City Council scheme, supported by the Department for Regional Development, features 300 bicycles, based at 30 docking stations positioned across the city centre.

Almost 1500 people have registered for the scheme ahead of today’s launch.  Membership costs £20 for an annual subscription or £5 for a 3 day membership for visitors, tourists and casual users.

Bikeshare schemes are mainly aimed at facilitating short journeys, so the first 30 minutes of each rental are free of charge and the next 30 minutes will cost just 50p.  There are small incremental charges per half hour thereafter.

To use the scheme, all users must register a debit or credit card, to which hire charges will then be charged directly.  Failure to return a bicycle after 72 hours will result in a direct fine of £120.

Hiring one of the Coca-Cola Zero Belfast Bikes is quick and easy and uses smart technology to detect a user’s location and the number of available bikes at docking stations nearby.  Members can either swipe their membership card at the on-street terminal to release a bike or they can use the Nextbike app to find the nearest available bicycle, log it out and return it.  Non-members can sign up on-street at one of the 30 terminals, on the website or by calling the hotline: 03433 571551.

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. 

Frank O’Donnell, general manager of Coca-Cola HBC in Ireland and Northern Ireland said: “Our investment in Coca‑Cola Zero Bikes is part of our wider commitment to help encourage active healthy lifestyles and we hope this scheme will enable more people to integrate cycling into their everyday lives, with the option of a healthier and happier commute.  Bikeshare schemes all over Ireland – and in all the major cities of the world – are proving extremely popular and I’m sure the people of Belfast will embrace it too.”

The scheme, which is part of Belfast City Council’s Investment Programme 2012-15, will be operated by public sector service specialist, NSL.  Docking stations are positioned from the Odyssey Arena to Bradbury Place, from Millfield to Central Station and the Gasworks, linking up with the Lagan towpath and National Cycle Networks.  Operating hours for hire are 6am – 12 midnight.  Bicycles can be returned to a docking station 24 hours a day.

ISSUED BY CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS, BELFAST CITY COUNCIL

ENDS

For further information, please refer media enquiries to:

Media Relations Office, Belfast City Council

Tel:  (028) 9091 8742 or (028) 9027 0221 or  07776 170845

Out of hours telephone number for Belfast City Council press office:  07917 458070