13 April 2020
By Bryan Smyth
A recent report from the National Transport Agency (NTA) credited an 11% drop in use of the rent-a-bike schemes in Cork to increased bus services in the city. Green Party Councillor for Cork City South West, Colette Finn, said the reason the service has experienced such a drop is due to the poor maintenance of the bikes themselves:
“The rent a bike scheme in Cork is being allowed to wither on the vine. I have raised the poor oversight of the scheme with the Chief Executive of Cork City Council. There is a lot of anecdotal evidence that the scheme has a poor maintenance record. This is because we don’t have proper monitoring of the scheme by anyone, as far as I am concerned. I asked the CE if she could report on the maintenance schedule for the scheme in her monthly report. To date that has not happened.
“I accept that Covid19 has intervened and other things are a priority at the moment. However the station at Morrison’s Island has been out of action since before Christmas 2019, and there has been no update to the council as to the reason for this. We are left with a scheme which now has declining usage not because people don’t want to use it but because it has been allowed to fall into disrepair.
“If we are serious about climate change and moving to a more active lifestyle then we need to stop the rot of schemes that are already a proven success.”
A planned introduction of ten new stations in Cork in 2019 did not go ahead, though the NTA noted that they hoped this would go ahead later in 2020. The busiest Cork station for the rent-a-bike scheme was located outside the main gates of UCC.