08 August 2022
West Midlands Cycle Hire’s (WMCH) free offer to encourage cycle hire during the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games has seen over double the amount of bike and ebikes being used during the first week of the scheme compared to an average week.
Designed to help manage traffic congestion during the Games and offer more people a chance to get to sporting venues through active travel, the offer has seen over 13,000 cycles hired during the first seven days, which is over 6,500 more than was hired the prior week.
Riders have also clocked up an average distance of 2.76 kilometres per journey.
Under the new cycle hire offer, available across the West Midlands until 8th August, anyone over 16 who signs up for WMCH via the Beryl app will be able to ride a bike or eBike for 30 minutes twice a day free of charge – whether or not they are attending a Birmingham 2022 venue. WMCH has 1,500 bikes for hire across the region, including 150 eBikes and more than 200 docking stations.
Other measures to keep the region moving and ensure both visitors and athletes get to venues on time include free spectator shuttle buses and extra public transport services.
The wide-ranging plans have been developed by Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), which is part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), in partnership with Birmingham 2022, local councils, West Midlands Police and transport operators.
Adam Tranter, West Midlands cycling & walking commissioner, said: “The West Midlands Cycle Hire scheme has become a key part of our sustainable transport network and allows us to help tackle the climate emergency while also giving people a unique way to travel around the city.
“I’m so pleased to hear that we have successfully enabled so many people to opt for active travel to visit events in the region this summer. Along with new infrastructure as part of our future plans for the region, I hope it’ll persuade more to make a permanent switch to cycling in the near future.”
Pop-up and virtual cycle hire docking stations are also being set up near five key venues across the West Midlands; Alexander Stadium (athletics, Para athletics and Opening and Closing Ceremonies), Smithfield (3x3 basketball, 3x3 wheelchair basketball and beach volleyball), Sandwell Aquatics Centre (swimming, Para swimming and diving), Arena Birmingham (gymnastics and rhythmic gymnastics) and Coventry Arena and Stadium (judo, wrestling and rugby sevens).
The bikes and docking stations are manufactured right here in the West Midlands.