Launch of city bike share scheme

Bike share company, OFO, is preparing to launch its bright yellow scheme around Sheffield in December.
Bike share company, OFO, is preparing to launch its bright yellow scheme around Sheffield in December.

Sheffield is getting ready for a yellow Christmas thanks to the launch of a the UK’s biggest bike share scheme.

The world’s biggest bike share company, OFO, is preparing to launch its bright yellow scheme around the city in December.

Councillor Jack Scott, Cabinet Member for Transport and Sustainability said: “This will be the first public dockless bike share scheme in Yorkshire, and OFO’s first in the north of England.”

OFO’s Sheffield operations manager Adam Rose said: “With an initial launch of over 1,000 bikes across Sheffield, we think this will also be the biggest launch of share bikes so far in the UK.”

He said that the company’s night time December roll out will see several hundred yellow bikes appear on the streets of Sheffield literally overnight in the run up to Christmas.

‘Share bike’ schemes are a mobile phone operated bike loan system, where users download a free app to locate and unlock a nearby bike, which then charges 50p per half hour of use.

Sheffield’s OFO share bikes will include a three speed Shimano gear hub to help cope with hills, and can be left and picked up from most public spaces, subject to the user guidance to park bikes using their fitted bike stand so they don’t cause problems for pedestrians and other highway users.

“This is a truly exciting opportunity and exactly where we need to be going as a city, bringing convenient, safe, low-cost cycling to almost everyone. OFO are an absolutely great company, and by working together, we can achieve even more for Sheffield, such as Bikeability cycle training for adults and children. This will help us to tackle some big issues like poor air quality, obesity and congestion all in one go, ” said councillor Scott.

Users can cycle where they like but, after their ride must return their bike to a defined area, which will initially stretch from the city centre to Sheffield University, the Northern General, Meadowhall and around Dore Station.

Adam and his team can quickly expand the area of operation depending on user demand.

The scheme will be cost-free to the council, with Sheffield joining 180 cities across the world with OFO bikes, in China, USA, and Australia as well as London, Norwich, Oxford and Cambridge in the UK.