Dublin bikes scheme to be extended

Fri, Apr 23, 2010, 01:00

DUBLIN CITY Council plans to increase the capacity of its dublinbikes scheme to more than 1,000 stands and 550 bicycles.

Advertising firm JC Decaux will be allowed 10 per cent more advertising space in the city to pay for the increase.

The council intends to exempt JC Decaux from applying for planning permission for the new advertising structures, a process which had resulted in a refusal by An Bord Pleanála of one-fifth of the company’s applications when the scheme was established.

Executive manager of the council’s planning department Jim Keogan said there was an “urgent need” to increase the capacity of the scheme because of the rapidly growing demand.

“This has been a huge success. Based on European experience it was anticipated that the scheme would have 1,500 members after it has been in operation for one year.

“There are already more than 30,000 subscribers.”

The council planned to increase the number of stands, where bikes can be picked up and dropped off, from 795 to 1,087, increase the number of bikes from 450 to 550, and introduce four new stations at Smithfield, Eccles Street, Harcourt Terrace and Charlemont Mall.

The expansion of the scheme would cost €6.6 million which the council said it could not fund from its own resources. “We will reinvest some of the revenue from subscriptions and income from rentals, but we need to increase capacity as soon as possible.”

The rental scheme, in place since last September, was provided, maintained and operated by JC Decaux with all revenues from subscriptions – at €10 for a year or €2 for a three-day ticket – and rental fees going to the council.

In return JC Decaux has the right to advertising space in the city for 15 years.