On Monday 22nd July, the Labour Administration quietly posted on the Council’s website news that it intends to significantly increase the tariff’s for using the bikeshare scheme. Examples, will see the most popular ad-hoc hire journeys increase in price to the user by 66% and see annual subscriber’s free time use reduce by half. The Council receives 50% of any surplus operating profit over £330k from the operator, Hourbike. Brighton Bikeshare was launched two years ago with a Conservative Government investment of £1.6m and £290k from the City’s coffers.
Conservative Environment, Transport and Sustainability spokesperson, Cllr. Lee Wares said “We are frequently told that the bikeshare scheme is hugely popular and now forms part of our City’s transport network which is always welcomed news. All parties acknowledge the need to tackle climate change and as a City we are about to consult and invest huge sums of money in making cycling more accessible and safer. The City is actively encouraging people to walk, cycle or use public transport to improve health and well-being and to achieve our carbon neutral footprint by 2030.”
“It seems counter-intuitive therefore that at the very moment we need greater participation (and let’s not forget there are always calls for bus fares to be lower), this Labour Administration intends to cash-in on our desire to achieve these objectives by imposing massive increases on tariffs to use bikes; Labour say that the increases will still result in lower or comparable tariffs compared to other schemes but that isn’t the point. As, according to current arrangements, half the profits come to the council, we look forward to hearing from Labour what income this will generate and what they will spend the additional money on”.