Several Belfast Bikes docking stations to be moved out of centre and re-located across city
A NUMBER of Belfast Bikes docking stations in the city centre are to be re-located to "areas of higher demand", the council has confirmed.
The station at East Bridge Street/Stewart Street ceased to be operational today, with facilities at Winetavern Street, Dunbar Link, Writers' Square and North Street set to follow suit.
Belfast City Council said that the stations to be closed are in "close proximity" to alternative stops, and "therefore will not create gaps in the network and should not be a great inconvenience to users of the scheme".
The scheme will instead expand into several new locations in south and east Belfast.
Three of the new stations will be based on the Ormeau Road in the south of the city; with one apiece at Ulidia playing fields, the Rosetta roundabout and in the vicinity of the Ormeau Bridge/Ormeau Park.
The remaining stations will be located at Stranmillis roundabout and at Catalyst Inc, formerly the Northern Ireland Science Park, in the Titanic Quarter.
Belfast City Council said the decision was part of an ongoing review of the scheme and aimed to meet its "growing popularity".
In April, the council confirmed that more than a third of Belfast Bikes had been stolen or vandalised since the project was rolled out more than two years ago.
It is estimated that vandalism of the bikes is costing almost £1,800 a month.
Photos have emerged showing several bikes which had been dumped in the River Lagan, while in one case, a bike was sawn in half.