Liverpool plans huge bicycle hire scheme

Liverpool City Council will create 60 bike hire stations across the city Photo: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire

The streets of Liverpool could be filled with 1,000 new bikes-for-hire if council plans are given the go-ahead.

Liverpool City Council wants to spend £1.5million setting up the scheme, which would see the bicycles installed at 60 stations across the city centre and in some suburbs.

Cyclists could rent the bikes using their mobile phones or bank cards - though the first half hour would be free.

It would be the biggest bike hire project outside of London and has been designed to make the city greener.

The city's Mayor Joe Anderson said: "This is an exciting project, which would put Liverpool at the forefront of building sustainable transport into everyday city life.

"With the major increases in the numbers of people living, working and visiting the city centre, we believe the time is right to introduce a cycle hire scheme, to reduce reliance on the car and to offer a low carbon, low cost, healthier way to get around Liverpool.

"Whether it's for the last mile of the journey to and from the office, to travel across town to attend meetings, to get to university lectures, or to visit shops and tourist attractions, we think this initiative could bring huge benefits to a wide range of people."

Liverpool is planning to pay for the project using part of a £2.8million grant from the Department for Transport. Plans are also being developed to make some electric-assist bikes available and to install charging points for low-carbon vehicles.

If the plans are approved, the cycle hire scheme will start next summer with 300 bikes. The remaining 700 will be added over the following 18 months.

The council says it is hoping to capitalise on a recent surge in the number of people in the city travelling by bike. New figures show there has been a 20% boost in the number of journeys made by cycle in the last year alone.

The plans will be discussed at the Mayor's cabinet meeting next Friday, December 21.