Pashley of Stratford upon Avon has won a contract with Serco to manufacture the next generation of London's Cycle-Hire bikes. The new bikes will be lighter, more comfortable and more manoeuvrable, claims the office for the Mayor of London.
Transport for London has awarded Serco a new five-year, £79.7m contract to distribute and maintain the Santander-sponsored Cycle Hire bikes. This includes the manufacture of an upgraded bike, which will be made by Pashley Cycles at its factory in Stratford-upon-Avon.
The new bike will have smaller wheels, a lower frame, a new hub-gear and a more comfortable saddle. It is anticipated that they will be on the streets in 2018, with around 500 supplied each year to replace older models.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “It’s great news that these lighter British-made bikes will make it even easier for everyone [to cycle in London].
Pashley general manager Steven Bell said: “We are delighted to be working on such a prestigious and important scheme. Although we are still in the product development stage, our Research and Development team’s design has been selected by TfL as one that meets its requirements. We will now work hard to turn that design into a production ready bike to bring to London’s streets.”
Until 2010, Pashley had the contract to produce Royal Mail's delivery bicycles, which the firm had making for "posties" since the 1970s.
Pashle has been manufacturing bicycles in the UK since 1926.
The Royal Mail's "Mailstar" bike lives on as the bicycle of choice for numerous other albeit smaller delivery firms worldwide. Though the impact of less delivery bikes affected the firm, the slack was taken up by new builds such as the traditional ladies bike, for which the firm is boosting sales with promotions alongside collaborative partners, such as Country Living and Mulberry.
“In order to remain competitive, we have to keep our overheads as low as possible, so our office staff wear six hats and are kept to a minimum, while we have over 40 production-based employees," Pashley MD Adrian Williams has previously told BikeBiz.
“We lnow it would be cheaper to shift our production overseas, but we are committed to producing quality products for our customers and do not to wish to sacrifice quality for quantity.”
Supporting over 90 UK-based suppliers and subcontractors, Pashley’s support for the local economy extends beyond its four walls and staff are repaying the firm’s loyalty to domestic production, with some retained by the firm for as long as 45 years.
Pashley makes about 10,000 bikes a year. Exports have become a significant part of Pashley’s business, with a jump from just 15 up to 40 percent of sales in recent years.