People travelling to and from Didcot Parkway and Milton Park can now travel by free bike and ebike thanks to the rental scheme which has opened in the new station cycle hub.
The new cycle hub opened in March 2021 which can accommodate circa 600 bikes. The rental bikes are available from the same, secure location and are free for the first 48 hours of use.
To hire a bike, people need to download the Donkey Republic app and follow the instructions. People have to register using their Milton Park work email address as the system will recognise that and not charge them for rental.
The investment for the free rental hire is thanks to Mi-Link, the partnership with Innovate UK, First Group, Zipabout, Arrival, Oxfordshire County Council, South Oxfordshire District Council, Vale of White Horse District Council, Milton Park and the University of West England.
Mi-Link has two aims: to trial a fully electric autonomous vehicle public transport service to Milton Park in 2021 and improve the way people move around the park and the wider Didcot region.
Veronica Reynolds, sustainable travel advisor, Milton Park said: “Our ebikes are proving very popular. We have 18 bikes and six ebikes available to hire which are housed at the new station hub and across the Park. The bikes make people’s connections from the station even easier as they travel to and from the Park and station. We hope to invest in more bikes in the future as the future is bike! Thank you to the Mi-Link consortium for this investment.”
GWR Didcot Station Manager Kim Higgs said: “We know that more people are now walking and cycling and this is likely to continue in future, and as more people have the confidence to return to rail travel it is important that we provide the facilities they need at the station.
“We are delighted to have worked with our industry partners to offer this new facility at the station, enabling those who do not own their own bike to quickly and efficiently take advantage of the benefits of cycling."
Llewelyn Morgan, Head of Innovation, Oxfordshire County Council added:
“This project demonstrates the approach towards innovating for the future of mobility, with active travel, public transport and electric autonomous vehicles combining to deliver a greener, safer and less congested network. This can only be achieved through collaborations between industry, academia and the public sector, and we are excited to be part of the MultiCAV work”.