E-Bike scheme gets the go-ahead at new train station
Get the Grampian Group sent to your inbox every week and swipe through an exact replica of the day's newspaper
Councillors on the Garioch Area Committee have this week agreed to proceed with an electric bike (e-bike) hire scheme at Kintore train station.
With local councillors having already successfully arguing for electric vehicle charging points to be installed at the station, the infrastructure was already in place, and as councillor Glen Reid said; "It made perfect sense that the station be the location of this great resource, which will enable commuters, visitors and locals to travel safely and quickly around the locality.
"It is my belief that as rural connectivity decreases with worsening bus services, this is a positive way in which we can connect our towns and communities, and a great use of the strategic budget that the GAC controls.
"If successful, there is potential to expand this scheme, and in such a scenario I have asked that officers look to expand it to Blackburn, Kemnay and Inverurie.
"There are already safe cycle paths to two of these neighbouring communities from Kintore, and officers are working on my earlier request for one from Kemnay to Kintore.
"This would eventually enable residents in Blackburn and Kemnay to access the new train station in Kintore and enable residents of all four communities to independently and easily move around them all."
Initial plans are for just four bikes in Kintore but a similar scheme in Huntly has doubled from seven e-bikes to 14 and by next month they will have doubled again to 24 e-bikes.
In the officer’s feasibility report they stated: “It is expected that the scheme would provide recreational value as well as the potential to provide commuter options, within Kintore and to local towns such as Inverurie and Blackburn.”
“The implementation of an e-bike hire scheme at Kintore Station would add value to the visitor experience of those arriving in Kintore.
"It could be a catalyst to develop the town as a destination with something different to try, as the ability to hire an e-bike in the north-east of Scotland is limited in terms of locations.
"It also provides a viable means of transport for those visiting family and friends in the town and surrounding area and supports a shift in recreational journeys being made in more active and sustainable means than the private vehicle.”
“The scheme would also provide a fantastic new resource for locals by means of providing a new, healthy leisure activity."
As the councillor noted: "This would provide an ideal opportunity for locals, not only from Kintore but the surrounding area, to trial an e-bike on their own terms to see if it would work for their lifestyle – for leisure, commuting or utility journeys.
"Trialling e-bikes in this way would be an excellent opportunity for local people to learn about the benefits of an e-bike and dispel uncertainties before committing to the purchase of one.”
The e-bikes will be secured in charging lockers, under the 24 hr CCTV coverage at the station, with GPS facilities and geo-fenced for extra security.
Councillor Reid concluded: "I believe that this scheme has the potential to be a great asset for Kintore and the wider community."