Brompton Dock is partnering with Southeastern Railways for the first time, bringing the folding cycle hire scheme to four railway stations in Kent.
Ashford International, Canterbury West, Maidstone East and Tonbridge stations will see Brompton Dock arrive on the 31st of May 2013. Each dock will make twenty folding bicycles available to local residents and visitors.
Apart from the obvious commuting angle, the hire scheme has also been installed to take advantage of potential cycle tourism in the region. Nearly 4.5 km of newly created traffic-free cycle route now connects the villages of Godmersham and Shalmsford Street, between Ashford and Canterbury. This extension to the popular Pilgrims Cycle Trail and Great Stour Way connects the villages of Wye, Chartham and Chilham and offers cyclists peaceful rides through the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
“We are delighted to be operating in four Kent towns," said Brompton Dock MD Mark Antwis. "This is our first county-wide scheme and we are really excited about seeing the benefits it can bring, especially in conjunction with the new cycle path.
“The scheme has been designed to suit a range of needs and we look forward to seeing both regular commuters and visitors to the area making the most of our folding bikes.”
Southeastern MD Charles Horton added: “As a cyclist and Brompton user myself I’m delighted that Southeastern is supporting the Brompton Dock scheme, cycling is a great way to get to and from our stations.
"The rapid rise in passenger numbers over the last few years means trains are busier than ever before which means we have to restrict the carriage of conventional bikes during peak periods. However, compact, fold up bikes can be carried at any time, so this scheme is great for both leisure travellers and commuters and we look forward to its roll out to other stations on our network”
John Burr, director of Highways and Transportation at Kent County Council, also had his say: "We are delighted that Brompton Docks are coming to four key locations in Kent as part of a package of work to improve access to stations and onward journeys - this is being supported by funding from the Department for Transport's Local Sustainable Transport Fund.
"The Ashford Dock, in particular, supports the significant investment in High Speed services to East Kent and provides an attractive option both for commuters and visitors wishing to make use of cycle links between Ashford and Canterbury. A new section between Chartham and Wye will be completed at the end of May offering an excellent day out by bike and rail."
Brompton Dock will be in 22 locations by midsummer, the docks in Kent will bring the current number of fully automated Brompton Docks operating in the UK up to 18.