Topics: Electric bike sharing scheme ready to roll in Newcastle, DIY parking in Maryville

Newcastle will be home to a permanent electric-bike sharing scheme as docking stations pop up around the city.

Topics has heard that Transport for NSW will launch the scheme next week, offering 19 charging stations and a fleet of e-bikes as a new option for tourists, commuters and anyone else who wants to cruise around the city with the least possible effort.

Hunter firm BYKKO trialled the scheme, billed as an Australian first, for three months in Newcastle two years ago with three bikes and one docking hub, but the new system looks to be on a far grander scale. 

The trial offered bikes at just $2 an hour and the first 90 minutes for free. 

The Mobility Parc docking stations, made by Swiss e-bike firm WattWorld, look like track-and-field hurdles with a row of red lights above a corresponding row of power sockets and charge indicators. 

The Mobility Parc Facebook page recently posted this enthusiastic missive (translated from the French): “The Mobility Park of wattworld in the land of kangaroos! 

“The City of Newcastle in Australia has chosen a Swiss-shared electric bicycle system, 160 stations produced in Geneva and electric bikes are now sailing to the southern hemisphere.”

DIY parking

A group of Maryville residents has come up with a novel solution to the suburb’s growing parking woes.

The Herald reported last week that the council had established two-hour time limits in parts of Linwood Street to counter inner-city workers parking there all day.

Now the resourceful people at the dead end of Estell Street, where the older houses don’t have off-street parking, have created angle parking by painting lines on the road.

NEW ANGLE: Estell Street, Maryville, with its makeshift parking set-up.

NEW ANGLE: Estell Street, Maryville, with its makeshift parking set-up.

From the look of the photo they sent us, the street is wide enough to accommodate angle parking on one side, at least.  

“Hey Newcastle Herald, just thought I’d share how awesome our new parking arrangements are in our lovely creek end of Estell Street in Maryville,” one resident said in a Facebook message.

“Us neighbours got sick of all the congestion so we took matters into our own hands by painting lines on the road. I think you can agree that it works great! What do you guys think?! We think it’s awesome!”

While admiring their initiative and sympathising with their plight, Topics can’t help but speculate about the legality of it all.

Dismemberment day

The Hunter has about two months to say goodbye to its beloved/embarrassing Queens Wharf Tower.

Word coming out of City Hall is that the evocative edifice will be dismantled in July after the council decided last year that it had outlived its usefulness.

COMING DOWN: Queens Wharf Tower will go in the next few months.

COMING DOWN: Queens Wharf Tower will go in the next few months.

Topics heard of a serious proposal to sink the tower off the Newcastle coast and use it as a dive reef, but these plans have apparently been torpedoed.

Royal invitation

Wedding dress gathering dust in the store room, waiting for that inevitable day when your daughter, niece or grand-daughter crushes your dreams by refusing to wear it when she gets hitched?

Well, Event Cinemas at Kotara is giving customers a chance to squeeze back into their ivory gown for the royal wedding on Saturday at 8pm (colonial time).

DOLLED UP: The happy couple will tie the knot on Saturday night.

DOLLED UP: The happy couple will tie the knot on Saturday night.

The cinema is showing the Windsor Castle extravaganza on the big screen from 8pm and is encouraging guests to dress up in their wedding-day best, whether it be bridal dress, bridesmaid’s frock, monkey suit or anything else worthy of the occasion.

The event will support the Jenny’s Place domestic violence and homelessness service.