Worthing has joined the likes of London, Copenhagen and Barcelona in launching a pioneering bicycle hire scheme.
With just a few smartphone clicks, residents and visitors will be on their bikes and exploring the wonders of Worthing in minutes.
An initial 20 bikes are available for hire at three locations on the seafront and town centre.
The scheme was launched today (Thursday, June 29), with dignitaries and business owners donning their helmets and having a ride along the promenade.
Councillor Kevin Jenkins, Worthing Borough Council deputy leader and cabinet member for regeneration said: “Worthing is on the front foot, making sure we are family friendly and helping people explore the wonders of Worthing.
“It fits in well with our new Discover Worthing tourism strategy. It is an opportunity to come to the town and discover what it’s got to offer.”
The distinctive orange cycles, produced by Danish company Donkey Republic, were installed at minimal cost to the council, working with Cycle Brighton.
Stephen Bell, of Cycle Brighton said the scheme was running in cities like Barcelona, Copenhagen and Oxford but Worthing was the first on the south coast.
He said: “We knew the council was relaunching their tourism strategy and we knew they had very nice cycling routes.
“There is access to places like Brighton and Shoreham and the National Cycle Route Two goes through Shoreham. They were up for it and keen to do something. “There are three locations at the moment but we are hoping to expand the locations around the town.”
The bikes are available from racks in front of Worthing Pier, Pavilion theatre and Steyne Gardens.
They 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, visitor experience and marketing officer at the council, 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.”
Worthing businessman Andy Sparsis welcomed the scheme, which he said would appeal to residents and visitors alike.
JP Savile, of Quest Adventure cycling shop, said it would help make Worthing a cycle-friendly town.
Worthing mayor Alex Harman was among those giving the bikes a try at today’s launch.
“I didn’t crash or fall off, which I’m pleased about,” he joked.
For more information visit http://discoverworthing.uk/bike-hire-worthing