Free Bike Use may be coming to the West

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    A SCHEME offering free bike hire throughout Charles Sturt Council has become so popular it may be extended throughout the western suburbs.

    The project, run by the council and Bike SA allows locals and tourists to hire bikes at the council's civic centre, the Henley and Hindmarsh libraries, Westfield West Lakes Shopping Centre and West Beach Surf Life Saving Club. BikeSA general manager Michael Bridge said the organisation hoped to set up free bike hire locations across West Torrens and Port Adelaide Enfield.

    He said discussions with the councils were still at their infancy but he was hopeful an agreement could soon be reached.

    Mr Bridge said the figures showed the free bike service was a success.

    "I'm absolutely delighted - it just demonstrates that the community is really behind it," Mr Bridge said.

    West Beach Surf Life Saving Club director of finance David Afford said each of the six bikes available at the club's headquarters were often being used at once.

    "The regulars know that we open at 8am so they get in early to make sure they do not miss out," Mr Afford said.

    He said most of the people who hired the bikes were staying at the holiday accommodation at Adelaide Shores.

    West Torrens chief executive Terry Buss said the council was monitoring the project but would not make a decision on whether to adopt it until early next year.

    The program is funded by Charles Sturt Council and the State Government.

    Service user Paul Rafanelli, 37, of West Beach, said the free bike hire was a great way to keep fit.

    "West Beach is a fantastic place to hire them from - there are fantastic views along the coast and the linear trail stars close by," Mr Rafanelli said.

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    We're lucky enough to cycle the Linear Park from Tapley's Hill Road to West Beach to get to school and it is such an easy, pretty ride that I'm not surprised the cycle hire is popular. There are no roads to go on (if you don't want to) and the coastal path gives great views too - I've spotted the dolphins a few times as I've gone up and down to Glenelg. I can't see why other councils wouldn't take this kind of scheme up if they have want to promote their areas.

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    Free bike hire is really popular in the City. I must admit that we haven't done it for a while...something to put on our "to do list". A ride along the banks of the Torrens is stunning as the area is pristine (ignore the new bridge construction!).

    My family would cetainly give the new bike area a go.



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