Getaways + TravelNews

Bike Hire Scheme coming to Worthing

A pioneering new cycle scheme has launched in Worthing with the aim of encouraging visitors to tell friends and family “Wish You Were Here”.

The south coast resort is following in the footsteps of cities like London, Paris and San Francisco in becoming the first place in Sussex to launch a bike hire scheme.

From Thursday June 29, locals and visitors will be able to hire one of a number of distinctive orange cycles to get out and about and discover the seaside town.

The scheme was launched today as dignitaries, operators and local businesses used the bikes to recreate one of the most iconic images ever shot on Worthing seafront – as a group of girls in vintage dresses pose like Emily Lloyd in the 1980s British film Wish You Were Here.

Councillor Kevin Jenkins, Worthing Borough Council’s executive member for regeneration, said:

“With a beautiful promenade stretching for miles and a bustling town centre with very few inclines, there’s no better way to get around Worthing than by bike.

“I’m delighted to welcome this scheme to the town as part of our programme to promote Worthing to the wider area.

“I’m sure it will be a hit with not only the millions of visitors we welcome every year, but also locals keen to try to discover the town from a new perspective, and all while keeping fit.”

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Discover Worthing, the tourism arm of Worthing Borough Council, has been working with local businesses, Cycle Brighton and Danish company Donkey Republic to provide the service.

Wannabe cyclists can rent a bike in a matter of minutes – and all in just a few clicks on their mobile phone by visiting the donkey.bike app.

Bikes can be unlocked from three docking stations set up around the town – two on the seafront and another at the Warwick Street end of Steyne Gardens.

To start with, about 20 bikes will be made available to the public. If successful, this could be expanded and include more locations.

The aim is to encourage visitors and residents a chance to see the town from a new perspective while getting about on two wheels at a leisurely pace.

Bikes are available to hire for as little as £6 a go and are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Helmets are not provided but cyclists are encouraged to bring their own or hire them from local outlets.

Judy Fox, Worthing Borough Council’s Visitor Experience and Marketing Officer, said:

“Using the Donkey.bike App you find and unlock a bike with your mobile phone meaning it’s easier than ever to rent a bike whenever and saddle up in just a few clicks.

“No internet connection is required, no docking stations, no cash, no ID cards or deposits, no rental shop staff or opening hours – just absolute freedom to Discover Worthing by bike.”

The launch comes just weeks after Worthing Borough Council rebranded its tourism arm Discover Worthing.

For those seeking further inspiration, a series of cycle routes have been created and made available on the Discover Worthing website.

The idea has the backing of businesses across the town.

Sharon Clarke, of the Worthing Town Centre Initiative, said:

“I’m delighted to see a bike hire scheme come to Worthing. It’s great to see the council work with businesses to develop this idea, which is another boon for our town’s economy.

“I’m sure this will be popular with locals and visitors alike, allowing them to explore everything our local businesses have to offer.”

JP Saville, of Quest Adventure cycling shop, said:

“On behalf of the Worthing Cycle Forum we welcome anything that promotes safer cycling in Worthing and the new pioneering bike hire scheme is sure to help make Worthing a more bicycle friendly town.”

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