Plans to bring Boris Bikes to Hatfield

PUBLISHED: 12:50 30 May 2018 | UPDATED: 13:00 30 May 2018

Hatfield Market Square, Hatfield Town Centre. Picture: DANNY LOO

Hatfield Market Square, Hatfield Town Centre. Picture: DANNY LOO

©2018 Danny Loo Photography - all rights reserved

Boris Bikes look set to be coming to Hatfield by autumn this year.

The Hatfield 2030+ Partnership is looking to bring a bike hire scheme to the town in a bid to encourage more sustainable modes of transport.

The partnership includes Welwyn Hatfield Council, Hatfield Town Council and the University of Hertfordshire, plus several other bodies.

It is anticipated that the scheme could be in place as early as September this year to coincide with the start of a new academic term.

The bikes would be available for use by the town’s residents, workers, students and visitors.

Hatfield Market Square, Hatfield Town Centre. Picture: DANNY LOOHatfield Market Square, Hatfield Town Centre. Picture: DANNY LOO

Unlike London’s Boris Bikes, the partnership is looking at using dockless bikes and a mobile phone app, which would remove the need to provide specific bike racks.

People who download the app and register would then be able to find an available bike using online mapping software, unlock it using a barcode, pay for it using an online account and then lock it at their destination.

There are a number of these schemes currently in operation elsewhere in the country, such as Oxford, Norwich and a number of London boroughs, with new schemes popping up in other towns too.

Welwyn Hatfield Council’s head of planning Colin Haigh notes in his report that Hatfield has been considered a “commercially attractive” place to launch the scheme by potential operators thanks to the presence of the university, railway station, town centre and business park.

Hatfield Town Centre. Picture: DANNY LOOHatfield Town Centre. Picture: DANNY LOO

“The distance between key locations in the town makes cycling a feasible option for many people and an increase in cycling should reduce the number of journeys that might otherwise be taken by car,” he writes.

The bikes themselves are usually brightly coloured, of sturdy construction to limit damage, with solid rubber tyres to avoid punctures, bespoke components and fixings, integral locking systems and a basket for bags.

Costs are typically 50p per 30 minutes, with free or low-cost membership.

They have integrated GPS to enable them to be located by users and to discourage theft.

Small rewards are offered where users park the bikes in sensible locations and fines or bans are issued where bikes are abused or taken outside of the scheme area.

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