Innovative cycle hire scheme launches in Stoke-on-Trent

An innovative partnership between Bromptondock and Virgin Trains in collaboration with electronics integrator and logistics solutions provider, CHH CoNeX and Eurocraft Enclosures has resulted in the launch of an automated bike hire scheme at Stoke-on-Trent railway station.

Mark Antwis, Managing Director of Bromptondock

Mark Antwis, Managing Director of Bromptondock. Photo: Mark Waugh

Originally launched at Manchester Piccadilly station earlier this year, this is the second scheme to feature ten Brompton bikes in Virgin Trains livery.

Located in a modern, well-equipped and secure cycle centre on the station, the system was 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 of the Brompton bicycle’s popularity; high quality, compact size when folded and economical to use for members. Bromptondock carries out all regular and emergency maintenance functions on the dock and bikes in addition to providing a technical support service to members by telephone.

The Brompton may be folded and stored when it is being hired. It is claimed to be the most compact folding bike of its type on the market.

To become a member of the scheme, a person simply registers by visiting – 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,” said 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.”

All Bromptondock products are manufactured for the company by electronics integrator and logistics solutions provider, CHH CoNeX in Birmingham.