Worthing’s distinctive public bike hire scheme is expanding with more and more people now able to discover the town on two wheels.
Discover Worthing, the tourism arm of Worthing Borough Council, introduced Donkey Bikes to the seafront last summer with the aim of giving visitors and residents an accessible way of exploring the surrounding area.
12 months on, they have been a huge success – with nearly 3,000 journeys being made on the bright distinctive orange cycles as people use them to explore the town and visit other areas like Brighton, Shoreham, Cissbury Ring and Ferring.
With more and more people using the hire scheme, the Council has now funded a new donkey bike rack on the promenade opposite the Premier Inn and The Burlington Hotel.
Councillor Kevin Jenkins, Worthing Borough Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, said: “The Donkey Bike scheme has made a big difference to our tourism offer, offering yet another reason for people to Discover Worthing.
“Hoteliers west of the pier have received many enquiries from tourists about how they can hire bikes so we anticipate this new location will be a popular addition to the growing Donkey Bike network.
“Not only do the cycles look good and are comfortable to use, but hiring them is quick and easy. That’s why growing numbers of locals and visitors are getting on board with our bike hire scheme.”
The Donkey Bike scheme is set up by the council, with the support of local businesses, Cycle Brighton and Danish company Donkey Republic.
Wannabe cyclists can rent a bike in a matter of minutes – and all in just a few clicks on their mobile phone by visiting the donkey.bike app.
Bikes are available to hire for as little as £1.50 for 30 minutes and are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Helmets are not provided but cyclists are encouraged to bring their own or hire them from local outlets.
The new rack was launched this week, with representatives from local hoteliers who were all supportive of the expansion.
Tomasz Makola, assistant operations manager of Premier Inn, said: “Visitors regularly ask us where they can hire these bikes from so the fact they are now directly outside is great, as it means they can see more of Worthing and the surrounding area.”
Miad Najafi, owner of The Burlington, said: “Having lived in London and worked in Brighton I know the positive impact bike hire schemes can have so it is great to see the Worthing version expanding along the seafront.”
Martyn Grubb, owner of Marine View Guest House, said: “It is extremely positive to see this scheme expand as it is good for the visitor experience. A number of visitors we have had have already used them and we’re pleased at how easy they were to use.”
More than 25 bikes are now available to the public with racks outside the Lido, opposite Worthing Pier, Windsor Lawns shelter and at the Warwick Street end of Steyne Gardens.