AQW 25357/11-15

Mr Daithí McKay
Sinn Féin
North Antrim

Tabled Date: 06/09/2013
Answered On Date: 13/09/2013
Priority Written: No

To ask the Minister for Regional Development for an update on the Belfast Public Bike Hire Scheme.

Belfast City Council was awarded an Active Travel Demonstration Project Grant of almost £700k in August 2012, to develop the infrastructure requirements for the Belfast Public Bike Hire Scheme.
Belfast City Council are responsible for the project management of the scheme and will be responsible for managing any future contractual arrangements and meeting ongoing running costs.
Work is continuing on the identification of suitable sites for up to 25 docking stations which will hold a total of 300 bikes at city centre locations. Staff from Belfast City Council are working closely with colleagues in Roads Service, Planning Service, the Northern Ireland Environment Agency and other stakeholders to ensure that the sites do not impede pedestrian or vehicular movement and take account of the surrounding built heritage.
After considering expressions of interest from potential suppliers Belfast City Council intend to go out to tender for the scheme in October 2013 and are also considering sponsorship and branding arrangements which have proved very successful in providing revenue for other schemes around the world.
Although the timescales for the implementation of the scheme remain challenging Belfast City Council remains confident that the scheme will go live in 2015.
My officials are providing a project assurance role and will continue to assist Belfast City Council in any practical way possible, during the development of the scheme.