Page last updated at 09:11 GMT, Tuesday, 16 September 2008 10:11 UK

Bike hire plan for city students

Students on a bike
The bikes will be loaned to students in Leeds for a year

Hundreds of university students will be pedalling around Leeds over the coming months as two seats of learning encourage pupils to get on their bikes.

Two hundred so-called hybrid bikes - a cross between a thin-wheeled road bike and a mountain bike - will be loaned to students taking part in the scheme.

The bikes will be allocated on a first-come basis at the University of Leeds and Leeds Metropolitan University.

Machines loaned-out will be clearly marked and security stamped.

Initially 200 bikes will be made available through the scheme and over the next three years another 300 cycles will be added to the fleet.

The 21-speed bikes are to be clearly identifiable as belonging to "Velocampus Leeds" and security marked.

Many students live within four miles of the campuses
Rob Damiao, Union community officer

Each of the machines is to be loaned out for a year and comes complete with lights and a lock.

The manager of the UTravelActive project, Lisa Brannan, said there were health and travel benefits for students using the scheme.

"Cycling to university is one of the easiest ways for students to achieve the daily recommended 30 minutes of activity to benefit their health.

"But it can also be much quicker than driving and journey times don't vary with traffic."

Rob Damiao, Leeds University Union community officer, said: "Many students live within four miles of the campuses, which is an ideal distance for getting there by bike.

"Cars clog up the streets and buses are expensive, so I'm sure the bike hire will be popular with students and a real asset to the universities and the local community."

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