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NEW ADMINISTRATION PLEDGE TO DRAW A LINE UNDER BIKE 2 GO SCHEME

The new Labour led administration on Dumfries and Galloway Council have pledged to “draw a line” under a Bike 2 Go scheme and made it clear it won’t be rolled out across the region.

At a meeting of the council’s Planning, Housing and Environment Committee in July , Labour councillors called for a detailed report on the cost of the Go Smart scheme, before any decision is made expanding the Go Smart travel scheme to the other towns in the region.

As a result, a report will come before the Committee next week (Tuesday 12 November) which shows that the scheme cost £144,170 from the Scottish Government, the EU and SWESTRANs but only has 171 members and was used 2270 times- a cost of around £60 a hire.

The new Chair of the Council’s Planning, Housing and Environment Colin Smyth, who has previously criticised the cost of the Bike 2 Go scheme, said, “The Labour Group have been deeply concerned  about this scheme for some time because we simply don’t think it was value for money. This report shows we were correct. The scheme has worked out at £60 per rental and quite frankly it would have been cheaper for the Scottish Government and the others who provided the £140,000 funding, just to buy everyone who used it a new bike! We should be supporting cycling in other ways such as investing in cycle paths. The Bike2Go scheme was an experiment under the previous council administration and frankly it failed. That’s why the new administration will draw a line under it and won’t waste taxpayers money on introducing it to other towns. Once the bikes in Dumfries get to the stage where they need to be replaced we will simply have them removed unless a private company or voluntary group wants to take over running the bikes. There were a lot of positives in the Go Smart scheme such as the improvements to bus stops and travel advice , but it’s time to park the Bike2 Go scheme and move on. We will be taking some of those positives forward to other towns using a modest grant of £9000 from the Scottish Government”.

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