Bicycle Hire Hopes to Boost Tourism

by Alister POOLE on September 18, 2009

In a move that hopes to attract tourists and change its reputation, a resort in England has launched a large scale bicycle rental scheme.   Cycling England, Blackpool NHS, and the Blackpool local council funded the move, which hopes to draw tourists to the town and add to its reputation as a destination for cycling enthusiasts.  With the travel and tourism industry suffering from a lack of travelers, many towns in the United Kingdom are looking for new and innovative ways to attract tourist dollars.

The plan will encourage tourists to take advantage of the nature reserves in the area, as well as the ample countryside.  The scheme also aims to increase the number of bike stands near Blackpool’s pleasure beach and promenade.   Additional bike stands will also be installed near in local parks, all in an attempt to encourage additional bike hire.

A similar scheme will be launched next year in London; both being modeled a similar successful program launched in Paris.  The one hundred additional bike hubs in Blackpool will mean five hundred additional bikes, which will make Blackpool’s bike hire plan the largest in the country.

However, spokesmen for Blackpool say that the scheme is not just aimed at attracting families and cyclists, as the local population will be able to take advantage of the plan by using bikes as clean transport around the city, as well as a means of commuting to and from work or school.

Cyclists can get unlimited access to a bike for only eight pounds per day, or can hire the bike by the hour at a cost of one pound per hour, with the first thirty minutes being free.

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