Plans to roll out 10 new public bike stations in Cork

Plans to roll out 10 new public bike stations in Cork
The Cork public bike Scheme, Cork. 

TEN new public bike stations are coming to Cork in 2019, the National Transport Authority has confirmed.

The 10 new Coke Zero Bike Scheme stations are expected to be in place by the end of the year.

A spokesperson for the NTA said they were looking at a number of locations but hadn’t settled on any just yet.

In a Cork Chamber member survey carried out in 2017, the top locations identified for an expansion of the scheme were Blackrock, Douglas, CIT and Blackpool.

The NTA confirmed they would be funding the scheme expansion as well as the maintenance of the project.

“It is something we will be looking at in the future but for now we are financing the expansion and the maintenance.”

The spokesperson said that the bike scheme had been hugely successful in Cork and, from their experience in other areas, building more stations would result in greater usage.

Despite the overall success, usage figures have dipped slightly in recent years.

Secretary of the Cork Cycling Campaign Conn Donovan said they were delighted with the planned expansion and predicted that there will be more users of the scheme as it expands out to the inner suburbs.

“There has been a huge uptake of the scheme since it was introduced. Membership has increased, year on year, although usage has stalled. I think the scheme is very focused on the city centre and as it moves out, it will pick up new users,” he said.

Mr Donovan suggested areas such as County Hall/Lee Fields, the Coal Quay and opposite Morrison’s Island as potential sites for the new stations.

According to the latest figures released by the NTA, usage levels of the public bike scheme dipped for the second year in a row in 2018, with a total of 271,581 rentals, down 3.1% on previous years.

The figures in Cork peaked in 2016 with more than 291,000 trips.

The average trip duration in the Cork scheme was 8 minutes and 40 seconds, while the NTA estimates the average Cork trip range was 1.5km.

The NTA reported 3,933 new annual memberships across the three schemes in Cork, Limerick and Galway last year, with Cork accounting for 70% of these.

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