A Bromptondock automated bike hire scheme, featuring the Brompton folding bicycle, has been installed at Stoke-on-Trent railway station in Staffordshire, the second to be launched this year in partnership with Virgin Trains,the first being set up at Manchester Piccadilly station in March.
The Bromptondock scheme at Stoke, holding ten Brompton bikes in Virgin Trains livery, is located in a modern, well-equipped and secure cycle centre on the station, created by the train operator to meet the rising trend for the travelling public to use bicycles as part of their whole journey.
Bromptondock was chosen by Virgin Trains as a preferred cycle hire scheme because the Brompton bicycle is popular due to its high quality and compact size when folded, and the scheme is most economical to use for members. For the partner it is cheaper to install and run than other schemes, and provides the best prospect for long term return on investment. In particular, for the partner, Bromptondock carries out all regular and emergency maintenance functions on the dock and Brompton bikes, and by telephone provides a full technical support service to members.
Other key benefits for Bromptondock members are that no bike maintenance need be done and the Brompton may be folded and stored almost anywhere when it is being hired. The most compact folding bike of its type on the market, at peak times a Brompton may be taken onto trains, buses and trams, stowed in a car boot, or taken into the office and home where it occupies little space.
To become a member of the scheme, a person simply registers by visiting www.bromptondock.co.uk, either using a computer or mobile phone, and then chooses a suitable tariff. After registering, a member will then be sent a personal four-digit PIN number. To take out a Brompton bike, a member sends a mobile phone text to Bromptondock, including the specific dock number and his or her PIN, after which a text will be quickly received with a bay number and an access code so the bike may be taken out. According to the tariff chosen, a member may then keep the bike for as long as required, whether it is for one hour, one week or even a year.
“For Virgin Trains, Bromptondock offers a truly end-to-end transport solution in which the Brompton folding bike integrates into existing local and national networks of trains, trams and buses. This makes it attractive to our customers who also value the particular initiative we have taken at Stoke and Manchester. In addition, our partner provides a complete support service so we don’t have to set up that essential infrastructure,” says Heather Hodkinson, Station Manager Stoke-on-Trent/Stafford, Virgin Trains.
Mark Antwis, Managing Director of Bromptondock, says: “We are delighted that Virgin Trains has chosen to partner with Bromptondock. By the end of this year, for different partners, Brompton docks will have been placed in over fourteen locations in the UK, from the South Coast to the North West, including Stoke on Trent, Manchester, Guildford, Oxford, Bristol, Southampton and Exeter, with many more locations likely to be added over the coming months. The solution appeals equally to train operating companies, local councils, universities and private companies.”