Posted: 12.11.20 at 13:18 by Alex Jones
The first of 50 nextbike electric bicycles arrived in Penarth arrived today, signalling the start of the company's first e-bike scheme in Wales.
Available at five "electric stations" across Penarth (Esplanade, Cardiff Bay, Penarth Train Station, Windsor Arcade, and University Hospital Llandough), the motor-assisted bikes are capable of reaching 15 miles an hour.
The electric motors, which are activated when cyclists begin pedalling, are charged while docked at the "electric stations".
Users unlock the bikes by using the nextbike app to scan the QR code located on the bike.
The e-bikes cost £2 per 30 minutes or £30 for 24 hours without a membership, or £1 for 30 minutes or £20 for 24 hours with a membership.
Monthly memberships cost £10. Annual memberships cost £60.
Attempts to return an e-bike away from an electric station will be subject to a £20 fine.
Nextbikes track the location of their e-bikes continuously and say users cannot store bikes inside private spaces.
Nextbike reserves the right to charge up to £200 for vandalised standard bikes and £500 for vandalised e-bikes. This includes bikes that are vandalised as a result of not being returned properly.
Vale of Glamorgan Councillor Peter King, Cabinet Member for Transport, today launched the bikes at the electric station outside Windsor Arcade.
"I think they're a good alternative to cars and because Penarth has so many hills and some of us aren't as fit as we used to be, a little electrical assistance is going to be a helpful thing," he told Nub News.
"I rode an e-bike at a trade seminar about a year ago and that helped convince me and some of the other Vale officers that this was something we should explore.
"We were instantly impressed. Hopefully we can roll it out across the Vale. If it proves to be a success in Penarth, then hopefully it will expand."
A nextbike spokesperson wrote the following in a statement:
"We are pleased to announce that this week we will be launching nextbike Penarth, our first e-bike scheme in Wales. Thank you to the Vale of Glamorgan Council for supporting the community by making this system possible!
"While this is a very difficult time to launch, we have discussed closely with the Vale of Glamorgan Council and the Welsh Government and have agreed that the system is important to the wellbeing of the community and provides another option for essential travel within Penarth.
"Starting Thursday, November 12th, we will be rolling out 50 e-bikes and 5 electric stations.
"This is the first phase of a regional electric scheme covering both Penarth and Cardiff. Cardiff plans will be announced in the upcoming months."
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