Free bike hire offer to run for next two months in Milton Keynes
Santander Cycles is offering MK residents free bike hire from today until the middle of June.
The city's cycle hire scheme, which is operated by bike share firm nextbike, has launched the offer to coincide with Earth Day 2021.
It aims to encourage people across the borough to think about climate change and how their actions impact the planet.
A new virtual station will also be launched at the central library to improve access for nextbike customers. Although there will be no physical dock, bikes can be dropped off or rented at the virtual stations, which will be clearly marked on the nextbike app.
The free hire scheme starts today (Monday) and will run until June 19.
Nextbike UK MD, Krysia Solheim, said: “We saw a dramatic drop in road traffic during the first lockdown in 2020, which in turn led to a dramatic decrease in CO2 emissions and pollution. It also led to a huge renaissance in cycling. But as restrictions were eased, people went back to their old - and unsustainable - habits.
“As we’re slowly emerging from this latest lockdown, we want to remind people that they don’t need to jump back in the car to make every journey. Cycling offers a great way for people to get around the streets sustainably, while also getting fitter and healthier into the bargain.”
Santander Cycles MK, which has already clocked up almost 190,000 rentals to date, will be teaming up with free online cycling platform, Love To Ride, so people can log their journeys and join in with challenges over the next few months.
“Love To Ride offers people a great way to interact with fellow cyclists so they can join in challenges together - no matter what level of experience you have,” said Krysia.
“The new virtual station that are being launched mean the scheme will be more accessible than ever before, with a greater network of drop off and pick up points. And the fact that Santander Cycles MK rentals will now be free for the next two months means there’s really no excuse for people not to give it a go.”
Dan Sherwood, director of marketing at Santander UK, said: “As further lockdown restrictions are lifted, we hope that the new offer and virtual stations will encourage many more people in the local community to make the most of the cycle scheme and benefit from a sustainable and accessible way of travelling around Milton Keynes."
Angus Rodney, Love to Ride business development coordinator, said: “Love to Ride Milton Keynes is a fun, free online cycling platform to help people ride more confidently and more often, and we’re delighted to be teaming up with nextbike and Santander Cycles MK.
"After creating a free account, people can log their rides, set goals, get access to tips and insight to help them cycle with confidence, share stories and even win prizes for riding a bike.
“We’re encouraging people to register at lovetoride.net/miltonkeynes - to start cycling, win prizes, and be part of the ever-growing biking movement in Milton Keynes.”
The free rental offer applies to the first 30 minutes of every nextbike journey. Customers who have already purchased membership will get their normal 30 minutes free of charge. The following 30 minutes will then be free thanks to the new offer.
Since launching in the UK in 2014, nextbike customers have clocked up 3 million rentals, riding more than 5.1 million km. This has helped to save more than 295 thousand tonnes of CO2 emissions.