Reading Borough Council (RBC) propose to stop funding the town’s ReadyBike scheme which may lead to its closure from June 2017. The council is looking for public response via a consultation open until Friday 30 September.
The distinctive orange and purple bikes have been seen around the town since June 2014 when the ReadyBike scheme was set up with the help of funding from the Department of Transport. Since March 2016 the scheme has been subsidised by RBC at a cost of about £130,000 a year, and although the council says it is continuing to seek sponsorship, it decided to open a consultation on ceasing the subsidy at a policy committee meeting on 18 July.
Councillor Tony Page, RBC’s lead on strategic environment, planning and transport, said:
July 2016 was a record month for bike hires. There were 3,392 rentals, up 12% from the previous month and up 16% year-on-year. There were also 475 new subscriptions. The council is continuing to seek sponsorship to allow ReadyBike to continue beyond June 2017. Potential investors may be encouraged by the latest figures which show it is growing in popularity.
Contributions to the consultation can be made until 30 September :
- online at www.reading.gov.uk/readybike
- in writing to
Reading Borough Council,
- Budget Consultations on Concessionary Bus Passes and Readybike
- Proposed Changes to ReadyBike