Page last updated at 10:20 GMT, Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Cycle hire scheme is 'achievable'

Velib in Paris
The study said rail commuters are a significant market for the scheme

A cycle-hire scheme for residents and tourists in central London by 2010 is "achievable" a Transport for London (TfL) feasibility study has found.

About 6,000 cycles will be available through 400 drop-off points across nine boroughs as part of the scheme.

TfL hopes the plan will be implemented from May 2010 and will generate an extra 40,000 cycle trips a day.

The idea will be key to achieving a 400% increase in cycle journeys in London by 2025, TfL said.

The cycle hire scheme will be available in the boroughs of Camden, Hackney, Lambeth, Islington, Kensington and Chelsea, Southwark, Tower Hamlets and Westminster, City of London and Royal Parks in central London.

The bike-hire plan was inspired by similar schemes across Europe, the largest being Velib in Paris.

The study found that there is a "significant market" for the scheme among rail commuters and to reach potential cyclists bike-hire stations should also be located near major train stations.

I have long held the view that a cyclised city is a civilised city
Boris Johnson, London mayor

For easy accessibility at least eight hire stations should be located in every square kilometre of central London, the study recommended.

But authorities need to address safety concerns of cyclists travelling in the city navigating through central London.

The study added that as London has high levels of cycle thefts a safe deposit mechanism for bikes was essential to counter this.

Describing himself as a "peddler of pedal power" London Mayor Boris Johnson said: "I have long held the view that a cyclised city is a civilised city.

"I believe that the work we are carrying out can make the capital a city of cyclists, where to use two wheels is common not curious."

Releasing the feasibility study TfL called for companies come up with ideas to deliver the cycle hire scheme.

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