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MSP launches cycle hire scheme at University

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For students and staff at the University of Stirling, getting on your bike has never been easier – all thanks to Unique Cycles, an innovative bicycle hire scheme launched this month on the University campus.

Keith Brown MSP, Scotland’s recently appointed Minister for Transport and Infrastructure was present at the launch on Monday 24 January, together with Mr John Thomson, Chairman of the Board of Fallin Community Enterprise, which was behind the original Recyke-a-Bike scheme.

Unique Cycles will be available for hire at various locations on the main Stirling campus, as well as at student off-campus residences, the University’s Innovation park and at Stirling’s bus and train stations. Journeys can be one-way, with bikes being collected at one location and left at another.

Easily recognised by their green on white graphics and large white skirt guard, the 30 bikes can be located at any one of 11 designated pick up/drop off points (see details below), with the bike racks and shelters identifiable via the Unique Cycles Only graphics and large posters explaining how to use the scheme.

Commenting on the scheme, Keith Brown said: “This is another fantastic idea from Recyke-a-Bike.  The scheme provides a cost effective, environmentally friendly way of getting around which may also have some positive health benefits and I am sure it will prove to be very popular. “

There is a one-off registration fee of £5, after which the hire cost is 50p for every 30 minutes of use. University staff and students can register for the Unique Cycles scheme via mobile phone and full details are available on their website: http://www.uniquecycles.co.uk

Unique Cycles is a spin-off of the hugely successful Recyke-a-Bike scheme which has been operating in the Stirling area for the last five years. Cycle hire scheme co-ordinator Lesley McAleenan confirms that the scheme has rescued and given a new lease of life to 6,000 bikes, most of which have been sold on to new owners. In the process, the charity has provided work for 12 people.

Designated Unique Cycles bike racks can be found on campus at Pathfoot, Logie Theatre, Cottrell, Spittalhill, Alexander Court, Gannochy and the Innovation Park. Off campus locations are at John Forty's Court, Union St and Stirling bus and train stations. The scheme will also eventually be extended to Lyon Crescent.

Unique Cycles Project Manager, Alasdair Tollemache said: “We are very excited by the Unique Cycles project which is being run in conjunction with the University of Stirling and Innovation Park and we hope that the staff and students find it an efficient and helpful service. We also hope their experience of the service will lead to the project continuing after the eight week pilot, but this will be subject to funding.”

Michael Chambers, Marketing Manager in the University’s Estates and Campus Services department, said: “I am delighted that Recyke-a-Bike have chosen to pilot the Unique Cycles bike hire scheme here at the University. It is one of several initiatives we have put in place to encourage all our students, staff and visitors to choose greener methods of travelling to and from the campus. 

“I very much hope that our students and staff will actively support the pilot by ‘getting on their bike’ and using the Unique Cycle service for short journeys in and around campus.”

For further information contact the Unique Cycles scheme co-ordinator, Lesley McAleenan by email at: lesley01@dsl.pipex.com 

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