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HYPE Urban Bikes launches in Liverpool

A brand new ‘bike hub’ operated by a Merseyside-based non-profit, HYPE Urban Bikes, has opened on Liverpool’s waterfront, offering affordable bicycles for hire and purchase as well as a host of free and low-cost cycling-based activities and skills workshops.

HYPE Urban Bikes city centre hub, located on Sefton Street, was officially opened by Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor, Steve Rotheram on Tuesday 2nd April. It aims to make cycling accessible to all and get people living in and visiting the region on their bikes to explore the area, improve their health and wellbeing, and promote green, active travel.

HYPE Urban Bikes launches in Liverpool
Photo by James Chapman

HYPE Urban Bikes provides free and low-cost activities including road and cycle safety sessions, group rides and balance bike sessions in, and a host of courses and workshops covering topics such as cycle mechanics, recycling sustainability and leadership.

The hub also sells repair services and accessories and new, recycled and refurbished bikes for sale, with a wide variety available at affordable prices. There are daily bike hire options for families seeking fun days out, such as traffic-free rides along the waterfront to Otterspool Promenade, and longer-term three, six and 12 month hire schemes for as little as £1 per day, for more regular riders or those who cycle their commute. Bikes on offer include mountain bikes, hybrids and step throughs as well children’s sizes.

As a not-for-profit organisation, all monies generated by the bike hub will be invested back into the community, funding events, initiatives and the establishment of future hubs in other boroughs in the city region.

The city centre bike hub has been developed by HYPE Urban Bikes in partnership with Vermont Construction, whose offices neighbour the new bike hub. HYPE Urban Bikes was originally launched in 2017 in Birkenhead, where its first hub is located, with the aim of making cycling cheaper, safer, more accessible, and an easy choice for as many people as possible. 

The scheme expanded during the pandemic when HYPE recycled, refurbished and distributed more than 5,500 bikes into the local community, including NHS and key workers, asylum seekers, local young people and commuters unable to afford the cost of a new bike.

Photo by James Chapman

Recognising the appetite for cycling and exploring the barriers to access, HYPE has since been focused on bringing a central hub to Liverpool, to enable more people to get on their bikes and enjoy the benefits.

As well as supplying thousands of people with refurbished bicycles, HYPE Urban Bikes has also trained 27 young people as bike mechanics, engaged more than 800 children aged 3-7 years in balance bikes programmes in schools and raised £25,000 through bike sales and repairs, funding other programmes and initiatives, including the new Liverpool bike hub.

Matthew Houghton from HYPE Urban Bikes, said: 

“There are so many health, wellbeing and environment benefits to cycling and we believe that everyone – regardless of age, gender, background or financial barriers – should be able to access the sport.

“We also want to encourage people who might never have considered cycling before to give it a try, through our many initiatives, events and the network of businesses and organisations supporting cycling across the city region, who we are already proud to work with.

“HYPE Urban Bikes will create a vibrant, healthy and connected community that will give back to the region and the people in it through cleaner air, reduced social isolation, improved fitness and a reduction in waste, through recycling and refurbishment of bikes.

“Last year the Metro Mayor, Steve Rotheram, revealed his plans to improve cycling in the city region and announced a dedicated fund. He has talked about his own experience of swapping his car for a bike and knows first-hand the benefits it can bring. 

“We would like to thank him for opening our bike hub, which we hope will be a gateway for many more to experience those same benefits, and hope that he will support our continued mission to provide affordable and accessible cycling for everyone.

“We really can’t wait to welcome the public into the hub. Every penny spent with us is an investment directly back into the city region, so everyone benefits!”

Mark Connor from Vermont Property Group said: 

“We are delighted to support Matt and HYPE Urban Bikes and we will be looking to see how we can support and assist the roll out across the city.  

“In doing so, we will also see the initiative provide skills and employment opportunities for local young people, which is fantastic for us as a business based in L8.”

Simon O’Brien, Liverpool City Region Cycling & Walking Commissioner, said: 

“When I visited HYPE’s Bike Hub on the Wirral I was blown away by the energy and passion that Matt and the team have for encouraging everyone to get out and enjoy time on their bikes, so it’s great news that they are now opening a new hub in the heart of Liverpool. The location with its easy access to the riverfront and the city centre is a most welcome addition to the cycling community of the region. Well done HYPE!”

The Liverpool site will also serve as a drop-off point for donations of old or unused bikes from the public or partnership schemes, and its upstairs meeting room will host training and courses for unemployed young people and ex-offenders, as well as being available to hire by community groups and corporates.

For more information, bike hire prices and details of services, you can visit the website here


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