SHARED bike schemes for a number of Clare towns were mooted at an online Active Travel briefing last week.
The event which was attended by an expert panel, including Transport Minister Éamon Ryan, heard calls for a Dublin-based scheme whereby bikes are available for short-term rental at a variety of locations, to be rolled out outside of the capital.
“The Dublin Bike Scheme is great, is there any chance of that being rolled out in towns?” Green Senator, Róisín Garvey, who organised the online event, asked. “Is it a private enterprise, because it would work in Shannon, it would work in Ennis and in Kilrush, maybe. People have been talking a lot about this.”
The minister noted the popularity of the scheme as well as some pitfalls.
“I think we could and should [extend it],” he said. “It is a private scheme. In Dublin, it was JC Decaux who did a deal with the council, they’re the signage company. I’ll be honest, I would have preferred if it had been done in some other way, because we ended up putting huge big adverts around the place that kind of take away from the public realm. I do think that shared mobility is one of the big changes that’s coming. I also think that electric bikes extend the benefits of that.”
The minister also acknowledged a question from a member of the public about insurance for bike hire. “There is a real issue around hiring bikes and insurance for business,” he said. “One of the benefits of the electric bike sharing schemes is that you can get the insurance thing wrapped into it. While I have stressed that we put local people first, this could also be very popular with tourists who mightn’t have their own bikes for whatever reason.