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THIS WEEK Huw Merriman, MP for Bexhill and Battle: Resignation of Prime Minister


COMMUNITY Return of the Polyphony Vocal Ensemble


BUSINESS Ten local food establishments sign up to Pevensey Food Festival

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Countrybike comes to the Cuckoo Trail this week following the success of the Ashdown Forest cycle hire scheme—Wealden Counl, 1 May 2019

Aim to make the Wealden countryside more accessible to its residents and visitors

The app-based cycle rental company, set up by husband and wife team, Tim and Suzy Seddon in 2017, aims to make the Wealden countryside more accessible to its residents and visitors.

The Cuckoo Trail hire scheme is being rolled out in stages along the former 11-mile railway line throughout 2019. Bikes will be available to hire at sites in Polegate, Horam and Heathfield from the end of April. Further sites in Hailsham and Hellingly will follow later in the year. Bikes can be hired by using a mobile app on a Pay-as-You-Go basis and cost just £5 per bike for the first hour (£2.50 per 30 minutes thereafter). A monthly subscription plan is also available on the mobile app offering even cheaper prices to those looking to use the bikes on a regular basis.

Co-Founder of Countrybike Tim Seddon said: “By using internet enabled locks and a mobile app, the technology allows us to place bikes remotely without the need to be there to facilitate their hire and return. This in turn enables us to open up the countryside to bike hire in a way that simply has not been possible in the past. This opportunity fits well with our strategy to open up cycling to those wishing to explore the local countryside. With the Cuckoo Trail being mainly off-road and reasonably flat, we believe it is perfect for cyclists of all levels.”

Visitors to the District can take advantage of the scheme and will be able to hire bikes at any of the locations listed on the Countrybike website. Available rental sites span a number of locations in the Kent and Sussex countryside.

Isabel Garden, Wealden District Council’s Director of Planning, Policy and Environmental Services, said: “We are delighted to support Countrybike’s latest rental scheme along the beautifully scenic Cuckoo Trail which links some of the District’s main towns. As part of our continued commitment to increase the health and wellbeing of Wealden residents, we hope to encourage those that do not own a bike to give it a go. It also provides an opportunity for those who commute between towns to do so more sustainably, as well as being a great way to see some of the District’s fantastic countryside.”

An interactive map showing cycle hire locations is included in the mobile app, Linka Go, which is used to hire the bikes. The Linka Go app can be downloaded from Google Play or the Apple App Store. Instructions on how to use the app, the bikes and where to find them are also on the Countrybike website: www.countrybike.co.uk

Most bikes will suit young people and adults aged around 12 years and above. Smaller children’s bikes are available for day hire, although need to be reserved in advance and delivered. Most of the bicycle fleet are21 speed Hybrid Dawes bikes, described by Countrybike as being perfect for exploring the local countryside.

Photo shows L-R Suzy Seddon, Isabel Garden, Tim Seddon.