A new ‘pop-up’ bike hire service has launched from an Island business.

Routefifty7, Shanklin, secured funding from the Isle of Wight Council’s Active Travel Innovation Grant last autumn, to support a new initiative to create a new ‘pop-up’ bike hire hub based at the Shanklin Esplanade.

The service aims to tap into a growing market of new and novice cyclists.

Cabinet member for infrastructure and transport, Councillor Ian Ward, said:

“I would, once again, like to congratulate Routefifty7 on securing funding for this exciting project. I attended the launch on behalf of the council and it is brilliant to see the pop-up bike hire hub in action. Shanklin Esplanade is a great location to ride for those who are lapsed or new to cycling, not to mention the great views.

“I’m sure visitors will be encouraged to add active travel to their visit and encourage others to drive less and see more of our beautiful Island.”

The Island firm already runs a welcoming bike hire business from Lower Hyde and this project will help promote short, easy, flat rides along the revetment to Sandown Pier and back, using part of the Red Squirrel Trail.

It will also link up with local businesses along the route, providing discounts and offers to customers.

Kevan Ansell, Routefifty7 company director, said:

“There is a fantastic opportunity to use the safe environment of the revetment from Shanklin to Sandown and beyond to encourage new cyclists. Being awarded this grant we are now able to open the Isle of Wight’s first Pop-Up Bike Hire on Shanklin Esplanade encouraging new riders to ‘Bike the Bay’. We believe our pop-up will also reinvigorate a neglected part of Shanklin, raise the profile of the bay area and impact revenue coming into the area.”

Councillor Wayne Whittle said:

“The council has been helping Routefifty7 expand their cycle hire offer on Shanklin seafront – our planning, commercial services and regeneration teams worked together to help them set up at this council-owned location, and set up a higher-profile bike hire offer in the Bay area to appeal to existing and new visitors and residents. I’m delighted to see the success of this exciting new local business and we will continue to support their fantastic effort to keep the Bay on the Islands cycling map.”

The company successfully bid for funding following the launch of the Sustainable Transport Innovation Grant Fund in July 2018, when the council put out the call for organisations to submit applications for funding to deliver their own innovative sustainable transport projects.

You can visit their website here.