Hastings Borough Council (HBC) announced last week that its Seaside Cycle Hire Hut on the seafront has finally reopened, following a grant made by the Foreshore Trust. Cycles may be hired between 10am and 3pm on weekend days, but must be pre-booked in advance by 2pm on the Friday before. All bikes and helmets are to be disinfected after use and left for at least 78 hours between riders. Just how many bookings on these terms are going to be taken up before the end of the summer?

As we reported in HIP 155 on 3rd July, local repair shop Bike Lab Hastings, who were engaging volunteers to renovate bikes for key workers during the lockdown period (they say that this programme has now completed and delivered 81 bikes altogether), suggested to HBC much earlier that the Hire Hut fleet be offered to key workers in the same way. The council turned them down, citing issues with insurance, servicing “and other legal issues…which we just don’t have the resources to deal with at the moment”. They added that when they were able to reopen the tourist hire service they would re-consider, in discussion with the charity committee which administers the Trust. Bike Lab heard nothing more.

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