Could the seaside town of Tenby and other coastal areas across the county soon present E-Bikes for public hire to get around the locality?

Correspondence that went before Tenby Town Council at their recent meeting from Pembrokeshire County Council touted the trial, with the Authority receiving funding via the South West Metro Fund. It is expected that the trial will commence in early 2024.

PCC has been awarded direct funding for up to £150,000 of which they will be able to purchase 3 Zolar Trees (rechargeable hub stations), providing lining/signing and a promotional campaign.

The E-Bikes are managed through Zeus Scooters, and will be available to use on a ‘pay as you go’ basis - like ‘Boris Bikes’ in London.

Users will be able to sign up to a membership and access a bike in any location throughout the County via a phone app.

The E-Bikes operate on a battery-charged basis and the County Council will be seeking a third party provider to maintain the bikes throughout the course of the trial period.

Tenby Tudor Square
Suggested locations could be the railway station, the multi-storey, Tudor Square, The Green/Salterns and the top of The Maudlins (Observer pic)

“We are accepting recommendations of contacts from local bicycle shop owners or reputable bike user groups who may want to take on this paid role. If you know any contacts in your area who may welcome the additional income, please do let us know,” explained PCC’s Will Davies.

“Alternatively, Zeus will seek to hire someone directly within Tenby to maintain and manage the E-Bikes.”

PCC have sought the help of Tenby councillors to assist in determining which locations that have been identified for possible bays, would be the best - with such places as North Beach and South Beach car parks listed, along with Tenby Leisure Centre and Tudor Square.

“While the bikes can move around and be docked in any of the satellite parking bays, our choice of location will ensure that a regular network is established,” continued Mr Davies.

Responding to the idea, Tenby’s Deputy Mayor Cllr Charles Dale said he wished PCC luck with this venture, believing it to be a ‘fantastic idea’.

However, he hoped that it works out better than in Cardiff where all the capital city’s bikes appeared to be seemingly stolen or vandalised, with the scheme ending.

Cllr Dale told his fellow councillors that he hoped the bikes will be respected.

Cllr James Phillips queried the suggested locations and the number of rechargeable hub stations; stating it was unclear if the bikes had to be returned to the proposed locations.

He said he had concerns that bikes may just be ‘abandoned’ in different locations.

Cllr Phillips said he felt the proposal was very unclear and fellow members agreed that more information as to how the system will work was needed.

“Will the ‘third party provider’ they are seeking have to collect bikes from all over town,” wondered Cllr. Dale.

“Will the scheme only have one central charging point? More information is needed.

“We’re being asked which locations would be best, but consideration must be given to the range of the bike,” he continued.

Tenby Cracwell Street
Tenby's Crackwell Street (Observer pic)

“Suggested locations could be the railway station, the multi-storey, Tudor Square, The Green/Salterns and the top of The Maudlins but we don’t know if the bikes are recharged at each of these locations or have to be brought back to a central charging point by someone with a van.

“In principle it is a great idea but we need more information,” added Cllr Dale.

Councillors resolved to contact PCC further for them to provide more information on how the scheme would operate.