22 April 2024

Electric bike hire firm serving Salisbury cease trading

Co Bikes, who provided hire e-bikes in Salisbury, have ceased trading as of this morning (14th July).

The company had installed a dock at both Salisbury railway station and Wiltshire College and had expected to expand across the city and add more docking stations.

The company was already established in the Exeter and had been pursuing an expansion plan across the South West.

Co Bikes were part of a partnership along with South Western Railway and Wiltshire Council that created the ‘cycle hub’ at Salisbury train station, part of the first phase of improving the forecourt at the station.

The bike hub was only officially opened by then Mayor, Cllr Tom Corbin, at the end of last year.

Nic Eversett, the Managing Director, said, “Despite everyone working extremely hard to provide shared mobility services for Exeter and the wider South West, it has been increasingly difficult to generate sufficient income to cover our costs.

“Initially, we were severely affected by the suspension of our services for long periods of time during Covid. Post-Covid, changes in travel habits, exacerbated by the cost-of-living crisis and drop in demand for business travel, have significantly impacted utilisation and revenue.

“These factors have been aggravated by high fuel prices and energy costs, contributing to greatly increased internal costs. Furthermore, vandalism of the bikes and supply chain issues (especially for e-bikes) have made it impossible for us to keep enough of the fleet on the road to make the business viable.

“During the last few months, the Board and management team have focussed on seeking additional funding to allow us to make the necessary changes to our business model to safeguard its viability.

“To that end, we are looking for potential new providers who could keep the cars and/or the bikes operating into the future as we passionately believe these services are an essential part of a low carbon, integrated public transport network.”

Wiltshire Council have been contacted for comment.

Written by
Andy Munns
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Written by Andy Munns