Speedy success for new Worthing bike scheme

The launch of the bike hire scheme, Donkey Republic, in Worthing in June. Picture: David Smith SUS-170629-162115001
The launch of the bike hire scheme, Donkey Republic, in Worthing in June. Picture: David Smith SUS-170629-162115001

A new scheme to encourage tourists and residents alike to see our town on two wheels is already in high gear.

Launched a month ago, Worthing’s Donkey bike scheme has been used 95 times by people keen to explore the area on a bicycle.

Judy Fox, Adur and Worthing councils’ visitor experience and marketing officer, said: “We are delighted to have been able to ensure Worthing is home to the first bike hire scheme in Sussex, and all at minimal cost to the local taxpayer.

“A month on from the launch, it is clear from the initial uptake that residents and visitors to Worthing are as equally enthused.

“We’re sure in the coming weeks and months, many more people will get out and about on two wheels to discover Worthing and beyond.”

According to the councils the scheme cost less than £1,000 to set up the bike racks and marketing.

Operator Cycle Brighton footed the bill for the purchase and maintenacne of the 26 bikes. Designed to get explorers up and running in a matter or minutes, the bikes are hired through the Donkey bike smartphone app and picked up from three locations: two on the seafront and at the end of Steyne Gardens near Warwick Street. Helmets can be hired from nearby businesses.

Herald readers have been largely positive about the scheme, but with several key reservations.

Ashleigh James Barelli commented on the Herald’s Facebook page: “I don’t think it’s a waste of money, it’s a brilliant idea.

“The downsides are they need to have helmets as there are far too many cyclists risking their lives riding without them.

“It’s also far too expensive: £12 for a day. It would be fine for a one off but after five to ten uses you could buy a second hand bike.”

Harri Bell said: “Brilliant idea and we’ve used them, but too expensive and annoying that you can’t drop them off at another location.”