TRANSPORT bosses in Greater Manchester are considering plans to introduce Manchester’s very own rent-a-bike scheme, similar to the one introduced in the capital by former mayor of London, Boris Johnson.

Greater Manchester Transport say they have launched a study into whether the rent-a-bike idea would work in the city. The goal of introducing the scheme is to increase the number of journeys made by bike in the region from 2% to the targeted 10% by 2025.

Councillor Guy Harkin has signed a statement accepting support of the scheme in theory.

A similar scheme is already in effect in other areas of the North West. Liverpool has the largest cycle hire scheme in the country except the capital, with over 160 docking stations and 1,000 bikes available to hire from £3 a day.

The London scheme meanwhile is the largest of its kind with 11,000 and 750 stations in the city. Use of rented bikes in the city has remained relatively stable throughout the past six years, with a peak of 10,023897 being used in 2014.

Daniel, who works at high quality bike store Cyclefit is positive about the impact that the scheme could have on life for cyclists in the city:

“I think it’ll be great for the city. The Boris bikes proved that it added so much to the infrastructure, because it’s currently dangerous in certain areas, riders aren’t given that much space on the road.”

Arthur Caplin, of Cycle Republic in Manchester had this to say:

“Proper cyclists will still have their own bikes. For me it’s important who ends up running the scheme.  There’s a couple of rent places at the moment popping up, maybe they should be supported and not just a big chain but it’ll probably be some big conglomerate that ends up getting it,

“The whole point of cycling is that it’s for anyone. Either way though, more cycling it better than more cars isn’t it.”

In a poll, however, 69% (at the time of writing) of respondents said they would not use a cycle hire scheme if one was available. This study period will be used by Greater Manchester Transport to investigate whether introucing the bikes would be cost effective and ease, rather than add too, conjestion.

By Will Stevenson

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