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Liverpool's answer to the Boris Bike hits the street - it's the citybike

New bike on the block Credit: ITV Granada

Liverpool's new cycle hire scheme, citybike, has been officially launched by Merseyside's Olympic cyclist, Chris Boardman.

Gold medallist Chris got citybike off the starting blocks at Liverpool's Pier Head.

It's predicted bike use will now grow in Liverpool Credit: ITV Granada

Citybike, which was named by the public in an online vote, will be launched with 80 bikes available at ten locations across the city centre.

The scheme, run by Liverpool City Council, will quickly expand to include areas such as Sefton Park and Lark Lane, and by 2015, there will be 1,000 bikes in over 100 locations across the city to become the largest cycle hire scheme in the country, outside of London.

Chris Boardman said: "I'm a big fan of the citybike scheme. It offers a fantastic way to get around the city while also being cheap, green and good for your health. The bikes are really great to look at and very user-friendly with no chains to worry about.

Merseyside cycling hero Chris Boardman Credit: ITV Granada

''People who think they can't cycle should get off the couch and have a go.

"There is so much to see and do in Liverpool from our wonderful waterfront to our museums and galleries, and you can get to all these places by citybike. Whether you're a commuter, tourist or out for the day with the family, enjoy our art and atmosphere by citybike."

Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson said: "We hope to see a strong take-up for the scheme and have made it as easy as possible for people to register online and then hop on a bike at locations across Liverpool.

Joining citybike costs from just £3 for a day membership, which includes two hours of credit or £9 weekly, which includes four hours credit. Extra time for longer trips can be topped up at £1 per hour.

Registar at www.citybikeliverpool.co.uk. The scheme is managed by Hourbike, which has similar projects in Southport and Nottingham, and is commissioned by Liverpool City Council using £1.5 million from the Department for Transport

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