Pedal to the metal for Limerick city bike scheme

Donal O’Regan

Reporter:

Donal O’Regan

A COUNTY Limerick company who instigated the Cycle to Work scheme have now drawn up a city bike scheme for Limerick, Waterford and Galway.

A COUNTY Limerick company who instigated the Cycle to Work scheme have now drawn up a city bike scheme for Limerick, Waterford and Galway.

Goeco, based in Cappamore, have handed over their proposal, called the Brompton Dock City Bike Scheme, to the National Transport Authority.

Minister for Public and Commuter Transport, Alan Kelly, held symposiums in Limerick, Galway and Waterford last November to outline the government’s intention to roll out a bicycle street hire scheme similar to the Dublin one. Marty Mannering, of Goeco, says their scheme is “simplicity” itself and uses the Brompton folding bicycle - the best selling folding bike in the world.

“It costs one third of the existing street hire schemes such as Dublin’s. The infrastructure and management costs are greatly reduced because of the equipment needed and this has been proven across the UK,” said Mr Mannering.

“Whilst the Dublin bike scheme is fantastic, it lacks in areas for small cities like Limerick, Waterford and Galway,” he adds.

Mr Mannering says a big problem with city bike schemes is finding hire bikes in rail stations.

“The reasons for this are quite simple - they would be in demand and keeping the bays full at the train stations would be quite a big job to shuttle lots of large heavy street bikes from the city centre back to these locations every half hour or so.

“The flexibility of the Brompton dock project is amazingly simple as the fully automated locker docks can move location to reduce or expand the project as needed. It gives full control to the managers of the scheme which will be appointed in each city when the project is up and running, creating six jobs immediately as well as being nationally managed from Limerick,” said Mr Mannering.

He says there is huge potential from the plan.

“Brompton are an internationally recognised brand. They will promote it in the avenues they have already got. Internationally their website gets 100,000 hits a day.

“We can ride on the back of the Brompton experience. We will then become the main place in Europe to come and experience it,” said Mr Mannering, who along with son, Paul have just returned from a visit to the factory in London. The bike will cost less than one hour car parking a day.

Two hundred and 20 bikes per city are planned to roll out the scheme expanding as needed in both the existing cities and into new locations, said Mr Mannering, who adds that colleges have also inquired about introducing the scheme.

Mr Mannering concluded by saying: “If the government give us the go ahead before the end of March we can have this on the streets before the end of the summer.”