Cycle Hire users clock up enough miles to go twice around the world during Birmingham 2022

The offer of free cycle hire during the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games has proved a huge success with thousands of riders covering an astonishing 49,000 miles in just 12 days.

That’s only a thousand miles short of travelling twice around the world, reflecting the huge appetite for West Midlands Cycle Hire while the region enjoyed the international festival of sport. Together, riders clocked up a total of 12,000 hours of cycling. 

Anyone signing up to the cycle hire app was offered two, free 30-minute rides per day during Birmingham 2022, covering both the regular pedal cycles and the electric eBikes. The offer was part of Transport for West Midlands’ wide-ranging plan to keep the region moving during the Games.

Thousands embraced the opportunity with 28,191 journeys recorded during the Games with many using docking stations near to venues including at University Station, Alexander Stadium, Edgbaston Stadium, Sandwell Aquatics Centre and Smithfield. More than 4,000 were new users who had never tried cycle hire before. Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said:

"I'm enormously proud of how the region's transport infrastructure ensured everyone could keep moving during the Games especially when you consider that Birmingham city centre alone experienced more than five million visits. 

“Easy access to public transport and free Cycle Hire were key elements of our Games offer and I'm delighted that so many people took to two wheels and experienced the benefits of cycling."

The cycle hire scheme was launched in 2021 by Transport for West Midlands, part of the West Midlands Combined Authority, to encourage more people to become active and healthy and offer a convenient and more environmentally friendly alternative to the car for shorter journeys. 

And with 1,500 bikes, including 150 eBikes, available for hire across eight town and city centre locations, the scheme has rapidly grown in popularity but hit new heights during the Games thanks in part to the free rides offer. 

The normal cost of unlocking a pedal bike is £1 with a 5p per minute charge after that. This means a 20-minute cycle will cost £2 and an hour £4. Cllr Liz Clements, Cabinet Member for Transport at Birmingham City Council, added: \

“These statistics show the huge demand for cycling and it would be great to see people who’ve enjoyed using WM Cycle Hire during the Games make a permanent change to cycling.

“At the city council, we’re forging ahead in the provision of safe cycling infrastructure. Cycling and walking are the answer to the three big challenges of congestion, air quality and carbon emissions in our city.”

The bikes can be hired using the Beryl app and are also available via the Swift App. For more information visit


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