Manchester, first city to get a Brompton Dock hire facilty

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GMCC campaigner Vincent Walsh reports on the city’s most compact cycle hire scheme

Norman Baker cycling in Manchester

Norman Baker in Manchester for Brompton Dock opening

Cycling Minister Norman Baker has unveiled the new Brompton Dock at Manchester Piccadilly Station.

Local cycle training company BikeRight has won the Manchester maintenance contract and will induct new users to the joys of folding and unfolding the bikes.

Users will operate the system by mobile phone rather than smart card and Brompton hire cost roughly the same as the bus fares for regular, short journeys. A simple, marketing-free explanation of Brompon’s pricing structure can be found here, while the company’s own webpage about the prices is here.

The storage unit for the bikes, essentially a row of steel lockers, occupies the space of one parked car. Accordingly, infrastructure costs per bike are significantly lower than London’s popular Boris Bikes, at £1,500 compared to £25,000.

Brompton chose Manchester Piccadilly station as their second UK location after the first Dock landed at Guildford station last year. Managing Director Mark Antwis explained that he plans to have thirteen Docks across the country by the end of 2012, the next ones opening in Canterbury, Exeter and Southampton.

However, Piccadilly station bosses won’t be allowed to rest on their laurels. At the unveiling, Network Rail managers looked embarrassed when the Minister asked, “Where is the cycle parking?”

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