New pop up bike service launched

A new ‘pop-up’ bike hire service has launched from an Island business, thanks to funding from the IW Council.

Routefifty7, Shanklin, secured funding competitively from the Isle of Wight Council’s Active Travel Innovation Grant last autumn to create a new ‘pop-up’ bike hire hub based at the Shanklin Esplanade. The service aims to tap into a growing market of new and novice cyclists.

Cabinet member for infrastructure and transport, Councillor Ian Ward, said: “I would, once again, like to congratulate Routefifty7 on securing funding for this exciting project. It is brilliant to see the pop-up bike hire hub in action. Shanklin Esplanade is a great location to ride for those who are lapsed or new to cycling, not to mention the great views.

“I’m sure visitors will be encouraged to add active travel to their visit and encourage others to drive less and see more of our beautiful Island.”

The Island firm already runs a bike hire business from Lower Hyde and this project will help promote short, easy, flat rides along the revetment to Sandown Pier and back, using part of the Red Squirrel Trail.

It will also link up with local businesses along the route, providing discounts and offers to customers. Kevan Ansell, Routefifty7 company director, said: “There is a fantastic opportunity to use the safe environment of the revetment from Shanklin to Sandown and beyond to encourage new cyclists.

“Being awarded this grant we are now able to open the Isle of Wight’s first Pop-Up Bike Hire on Shanklin Esplanade encouraging new riders to ‘Bike the Bay’. We believe our pop-up will also reinvigorate a neglected part of Shanklin, raise the profile of the bay area and impact revenue coming into the area.”

Councillor Wayne Whittle said: “The council has been helping Routefifty7 expand their cycle hire offer on Shanklin seafront. I’m delighted to see the success of this exciting new local business and we will continue to support their fantastic effort to keep the Bay on the Islands cycling map.”

The company successfully bid for funding following the launch of the Sustainable Transport Innovation Grant Fund in July 2018, when the council put out the call for organisations to submit applications for funding to deliver their own innovative sustainable transport projects.