Bike share snub to Stratford firm prompts anger - The Leamington Observer

Bike share snub to Stratford firm prompts anger

Leamington Editorial 23rd Mar, 2018   0

PASHLEY Cycles in Stratford has been ignored in a favour of a German firm to build bicycles for a West Midlands bike share scheme.

Liberal Democrats have hit out at West Midlands mayor Andy Street and transport advisors at Transport for West Midlands, (TfWM), after they opted for German-made ‘nextbikes’ for the region’s first bike share scheme.

They accused them of ignoring long-established Midlands bicycle manufacturers including Pashley which is already producing London’s Santander cycles, previously nicknamed Boris Bikes.

Lib Dems say the move took no account of local jobs and investment, and it was yet another blow for the region’s manufacturing sector ahead of Brexit.

Dominic Skinner, Lib-Dem prospective parliamentary candidate for Stratford, said: “It is ironic that our own local business is producing Santander’s new bikes for London, but that their ‘home city’, Birmingham, has opted to purchase bikes from Germany.

“It is hard to fathom this decision as we enter Brexit Britain where ‘taking back control’ and being able to source more locally to drive local investment, local jobs and a circular economy was ostensibly part of the rationale for this decision.”

Pashley Cycles general manager Steve Bell was equally unhappy at the award of the contract to Germany.

He said: “Having the bikes built in our factory in Stratford would have generated a further ten new jobs which will now be based in Leipzig. Buying these bikes from Germany is essentially supporting the German Mittelstand (smaller businesses) and turning our back on our own hard pressed medium-sized businesses here in the Midlands.

“We are a family-owned company investing in sourcing UK made goods, made by local people.

“With Brexit just around the corner we need to support our own companies, not at a higher cost of course, but at the

same or better value for money than those sourced overseas.”

The bike share controversy follows questions over government plans for British passports to be manufactured in France.

Areas across the West Midlands will benefit from over 2,000 ‘congestion busting’ bikes by September according to the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA). A further 3,000 bikes will be rolled out in phases across Walsall, Sandwell, Dudley and Solihull by 2019.

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