Santander and nextbike are set to bring a brand new cycle hire scheme to Milton Keynes from Spring 2016. In a deal signed in close collaboration with Milton Keynes Council (MKC) and Milton Keynes City Centre Management; Santander and nextbike will connect the city with major hubs at key points across the city centre, business parks and residential estates.
The exact details of the scheme are being finalised but it’s expected to include over 500 bikes, available at up to 60 docking stations across the town. The scheme will use the city-wide ‘Redway’ network; a 169.3 mile network of shared use paths for cyclists and pedestrians. Surfaced with red tarmac, the network ensures cyclists can avoid using roads to undertake most journeys.
The new 7-year deal is a result of months of collaboration between Milton Keynes Council, Milton Keynes City Centre Management, nextbike and Santander. Santander has a long association with the local area, as a major employer and with Head Office sites located in the city. The four parties will work closely together to get the scheme off the ground and embed it into the hearts and minds of locals, visitors to Milton Keynes, and across the communities it connects.
The nextbike Smartbikes will allow cyclists to hire the bikes via a specially designed app, on their phone, with membership cards or via the cycle itself.
Nathan Bostock, CEO of Santander UK said: “We have already demonstrated our support for the communities in which we operate through our Santander Cycles partnership with Transport for London. Our plans were always to broaden this commitment into other communities and as our largest employee hub, Milton Keynes is an obvious place for us to support in this way. We will be looking to share best practice between Santander Cycles in London and Milton Keynes, where it makes sense and adds value.
“We know that a cycle hire scheme provides mobility to more people so they can embrace the opportunities around them that could shape their future. And it does it in an accessible, healthy and socially responsible way. We are committed to making the experience of using the new Milton Keynes cycle hire scheme as easy, fun and rewarding as possible.”
Robert Grisdale, Managing Director, nextbike said: “The scheme will be the second largest outside of London and serve a large area of Milton Keynes including residential areas – not just the busy centre. It's fantastic to see such a strong commitment from Santander to bring the project to life in a way that is 100% focussed on the community.
“Milton Keynes is very car centric, but also very cycle friendly thanks to the Redway network so there is an exciting amount of potential to change the way people choose to move around the city. We are really looking forward to being a part of this transformative project.”
Cllr Matt Clifton, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Transport from Milton Keynes Council said: “I am delighted that Milton Keynes has been chosen by Santander for this fantastic scheme and that the Council is a key partner in such a positive and innovative transport project. A number of Council departments are already working closely with Santander, nextbike and MKCCM to deliver this across the Borough. The cycle hire scheme will give all people in MK a greener, healthier choice of travelling around the city on our unique Redway network.”
Melanie Beck, City Centre Manager, Milton Keynes City Centre Management (MKCCM) said: “We are thrilled to have agreed such a significant cycle hire scheme for Milton Keynes through close partnership with Santander, nextbike and Milton Keynes Council.
“A cycle hire facility of this size will be a tremendous addition to Milton Keynes and we believe it will provide employees, residents and visitors with a simple, sustainable and enjoyable way of travelling around this vibrant city.”