Construction workers on the Assembly Bristol mixed-use development will commute to and from the building site on Bromptons, under a new partnership between the bike firm and contractor Galliford Try, investor Axa IM Real Assets and developer Bell Hammer.
The scheme reverses normal practice, to provide bikes for hire to the general public on completion of a development. Instead, a solar-powered Brompton Bike Hire dock is being installed this week on-site in Bristol, providing construction workers with eight folding bikes during the build, which began in February.
“Although the concept of installing docks from the start to allow site staff access to the bikes to get to and from work seems fairly simple, it’s just not something that’s currently done,” said Brompton Bike Hire managing director Julian Scriven.
“On-site parking can be really problematic for people working on projects like the Assembly Bristol due to the fact that town and city centres are notoriously short on parking places. We know that embedding cycling as part of the normal daily commute not only brings great health benefits, but is vital in helping to reduce congestion and CO2 emissions in our towns and cities.
“A project we witnessed at a building site in Manchester made us realise we should be thinking differently. Staff at that site were parking outside the city centre and using dockless bikes to travel the final few miles to get to work. But at the end of their shifts, there were no bikes around to get them back to their cars.
“We realised that if Brompton Bike Hire docks were installed at the start of the build, they would not have had the same reliability problems. Our bikes can be pre-booked so they’re always there when you need them. It’s more like temporary ownership than bike hire, as our bikes are yours for the day once rented.”
Being solar powered, the dock can be moved easily to its permanent home once work is complete. Patrick Davis, development director at Bell Hammer, said: “We have worked with Brompton Bike Hire on a couple of previous projects, including Assembly London, so we know the cycling facilities it provides are first-rate.
"When we started discussing the concept of getting the dock into place at the start of the build, it just made so much more sense. It’s exciting to see the project coming to fruition.”
Assembly Bristol comprises 300,000sq ft (almost 30,000sq m) of flexible office and retail space. Mark Wusthoff, area director for Galliford Try, said: “As a people-orientated business, we are always looking for new and innovative ways to help our staff improve their wellbeing and help sustainable behaviours. This initiative is fantastic way for our team to get around the centre of Bristol in a quick and efficient manner while improving their health as well. As a keen cyclist myself, I can’t wait to give them a try the next time I’m down on site.”
There are 40 Brompton Bike Hire docks in the UK, including two others in Bristol: one at Temple Meads and one at Bristol Parkway, renting bikes for £3.50 per day, which the firm said is the UK's cheapest bike hire offer.