COUNCILLORS have given a firm thumbs-up to the idea of a large-scale bike and electric bike rental scheme being set up in Worthing and Adur.

Work has already started to develop a map of potential hub locations where people will be able to pick up or drop of one of the 322 bikes.

During a meeting of the joint strategic committee on Tuesday (July 13), members agreed that both councils could now start looking for an operator.

The scheme would essentially be an extension of Brighton’s BTN Bikeshare, which is one of the most successful bike rental schemes in the UK outside of London.

An operator is expected to be in place late this year and the plan is to launch the scheme in two phases, with 38 hubs opening in phase one and another 13 in phase two.

Half of the bikes available will be e-bikes.

But it won’t be cheap.

A report to the committee said it would cost £830,350 to buy the bikes and the infrastructure, with an estimated annual operating cost of £233,419 for the first phase.

The benefits, though, would see cycling opened to more people, with the aim of improving air quality and reducing traffic congestion.

The scheme received unanimous support from the committee, but Worthing leader Daniel Humphreys did raise a couple of concerns – the state of the roads and the law regarding the use of e-scooters.

Brighton & Hove City Council is considering including e-scooters in the scheme in the future and Adur and Worthing councils are likely to do the same.

But at the moment the only e-scooters that can be used on public roads are those rented as part of government-backed trials.

Mr Humphreys told the meeting: “The legislation does need to catch up.”

He added: “The other thing that needs to catch up if we’re going to make cycling a lot safer and a lot more available – and not just safe for the users of the bicycles but also pedestrians and other vehicle users – is the infrastructure.

“We do need to see that infrastructure catch up across Adur and Worthing.

“We are not where many other parts of the country are with regards to the design of our highway infrastructure.

“It’s not perilously dangerous out there but equally it could be an awful lot better.”

He called on West Sussex County Council to work with Worthing and Adur on improving the roads ‘to make all of this as good as it possibly can be, to deliver all the benefits it possibly can’.


Where the hubs could be located

During Phase One, large hubs, with space for 30 bikes, have been short-listed for:

Worthing Pier/ Montague Place

Worthing Station

Shoreham Town Centre by La Patisserie

Medium hubs, with space for 20 bikes at:

Splashpoint Leisure Centre, Worthing

West Worthing Station

The Burlington, Worthing

Worthing Town Centre/ Royal Arcade Shopping Mall

Shoreham-By-Sea Station

Shoreham Football Club

Lancing Station

Southwick Square

Old Shoreham Toll Bridge

Buckingham Park and Playground, Adur

And small hubs, with space for ten bikes, at:

Sea Lane Café, Worthing

George V Avenue, Worthing

Chapel Road (KFC), Worthing

Poulters Lane Car Park, Worthing

Worthing Hospital

Brooklands Pleasure Park, Worthing

Ham Road, Worthing

Sussex Yeoman, Palatine Road, Worthing

Goring Road Post Office, Worthing

Goring-By-Sea Station

Dominion Road Post Office, Worthing

Grand Avenue, Worthing

Goring Beach Front

Strand Parade, Worthing

Lancing Beach Car Park

Broadwater Cricketer’s Parade, Adur

Monks Recreation Ground, Adur

Cokeham Road, Adur

Southlands Hospital, Adur

Londis, Old Shoreham Road

Southwick Station

Ferry Road, Adur

South Lancing (The Broadway)

Ropetackle Arts Centre, Shoreham

Co-op, Upper Shoreham Road

All hubs short-listed for phase two will be small:

Pond Lane Recreation Ground, Worthing

Sussex Partnership Foundation Trust, Arundel Road

Worthing Findon Road Express

West Durrington Development

Brighton City Airport

Fishersgate Station

Ricardo, Old Shoreham Road

Manor Road, North Lancing

Lidl, Shoreham

Retail development at New Monks Farm, Lancing (formerly IKEA)

New Monks Park

Sompting development

Holmbush Retail Park