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Jenson Button rides into town to promote Santander Cycles scheme

Date Posted:06/07/2016

Jenson Button Santander Cycles MKFIA Formula 1™ World Champion and Santander ambassador, Jenson Button MBE, today joined the Mayor of Milton Keynes, Councillor Steve Coventry, scheme partners’ nextbike, MKCCM and Milton Keynes Council and other local dignitaries to celebrate the successful launch of the UK’s newest cycle hire scheme, Santander Cycles MK.

Riding a specially adapted Santander Cycles MK tandem bike, Jenson spent time enjoying a ride around Willen Lake alongside invited media, guests, Santander staff and local residents.  Following this, Jenson visited Santander’s Head Office in Milton Keynes to meet those involved with the scheme and encourage others to get on-board.

In just 2 weeks since launching, already over 5,000 people have registered to use the scheme, with hires exceeding 7,000.

Plans are already underway to extend the scheme from the current 42 docking stations and 300 bikes to 50 stations and 512 bikes by the end of the year following the successful launch. Plans will take into account the expertise of scheme operator nextbike, comments from users and residents and feedback received so far.

To find out more about the scheme visit: www.santandercyclesmk.co.uk

Destination MK were lucky enough to be invited to an interview session with Jenson Button about the scheme, and other areas of his life, here's what he had to say...

What do you think of  the bikes?

"I have ridden the bikes quite a lot and they are really nice. They are heavy duty which is what they need to be.

"It's a great scheme and with the redways in Milton Keynes, there are not many cities around the world that cater for cyclists, and I am a keen cyclists – it's great, and it's great that 5,000 people have already signed up to.

"Its definitely a great scheme and a city that other cities should take notice of."

What do you like about Milton Keynes?
"There is a very good Formula 1 team here, I have never driven for them.

"I used to come here in 1998 had friends who lived here when I was racing for Formula Ford."

Why would you recommend people get involved with your annual triathlon event?

"Getting involved in any triathlon is great because it gets you outside and keeping fit.

"My triathlon raises money for Cancer Research and it is a great festival atmosphere, with free beer after the race which is the best thing ever.

"It will make the race easier if you train on the Santander bikes, as they are heavy duty so the lighter bikes will feel easier.

"Hopefully one day we can do the Santander bike race around Willen in Milton Keynes."

Do you cycle every week?
"When I'm home I cycle and if I'm there for a week I will cycle four or five days a week. I love cycling with friends in Monaco to Italy and it is a social thing for me. I cycle F1 drivers, professionals and friends.

"Mentally cycling helps me with F1 and is great to get away.

"Formula 1 is most of my life and it is good to get away even if I think about it most of the time when I'm on the bike."

Are you looking forward to being in the UK for the Silverstone Grand Prix?
"It is such a special race, and Silverstone is the home of British motorsport and feels like the home of motorsport.

"It is one of the special races when fans are connected, not just supporting the drivers, but F1 as a sport.

"Hopefully we will get a lot of people from MK. I am sure a lot will be supporting a certain team, but it is about the atmosphere at the British Grand Prix and its very special and a great circuit."

What message would you give to get people on Santander bikes and try them out?

"MK is the perfect playground for the bicycles here don't have to be on roads with cars and good to keep fit.

"If I lived here I would use them every day and if I worked here in a 9 to 5 job I would use them to get to work.

"Hopefully the use grows and Milton Keynes will become the Amsterdam of the UK."

It is a minority, but some people have vandalised the bikes, what would you say to them?

"Well I don't think anything I can say will stop them but people should always be respectful especially to such a good scheme that keeps people fit and help people get to work in a cheaper way rather than cars.

"Hopefully it is a minority."

Fancy the Top Gear job?

"First of all I don't know what I'm doing next year, don't know if I'll be in F1, or with McLaren or someone else so I can't say where I will be

"I like the idea, car shows are exciting I love them and I think there is always interesting touches a racing driver would bring to a show like Top Gear.

"It is the biggest motoring show in the UK and hopefully it will get back to where it used to be with its viewers.

"I have watched it and I liked it and Matt LeBlanc seems like a good leader."

Would you ever consider driving for Red Bull?

"I am open to anything in Formula 1 but I think I am way too old for them by about 12 years.

"I know Daniel Ricciardo very well, we are good friends, but he is old now!"

Are you single?

"No I'm definitely not."

Finally Wales or Portugal?

"I would love to see Wales win as it is a fantastic story of the underdog and their passion is evident, and they are like a family."

Photo thanks to Andy Handley at www.onemk.co.uk
 

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