Page last updated at 15:43 GMT, Wednesday, 13 August 2008 16:43 UK

Cycle-hire scheme rides into city

People could pick up the bikes at one place and drop them off at another

Dundee is set to join Barcelona, Paris and Stockholm by introducing a self-service cycle hire scheme.

People would be able to pick up a bike at places like the train or bus station then drop it off at certain points across the city.

Riders could use the bike for free for half an hour, then rent it for longer.

The project will be funded by a 2.1m Scottish Government grant for a range of schemes aimed at encouraging people to use cars less.

Other initiatives will include cycle training, free trial journeys to encourage people to use buses, and identifying things that stop people walking - for example poor drainage, narrow pathways or bad lighting.

Planning and transport convener Fraser Macpherson said: "We have been leading the way with initiatives to encourage less use of cars by, for example, bringing in millions of pounds to improve public transport, and this latest funding means we will be able, with our partners, to continue to make improvements that will have a very real effect on people's lives.

"The project will be delivered over a three-year period and the cycle-hire scheme - similar to those run in cities such as London, Paris and Barcelona - is one of a number of initiatives designed to encourage healthy living by cycling and walking within our communities and using the facilities within them, rather than using the car - which obviously has worthwhile environmental benefits."

These schemes will make a real difference, making transport choices cheaper, healthier, safer and greener
Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson

Falkirk Council has been awarded just over 925,000 to introduce greener transport projects in the Larbert and Stenhousemuir areas.

The local authority will also commit an additional 450,000 over the next three years to encourage more people out of their cars.

Projects include developing new cycle/footways, public transport promotions and welcome packs for new homes.

Councillor Adrian Mahoney, convener of the environment and heritage committee, said: "This represents a significant funding package which will allow us to carry out hearts and minds work to encourage people in Larbert and Stenhousemuir to travel on foot, by cycle or by using public transport."

Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson added: "With more cars on our roads, increasing levels of congestion and rising emissions, it is time for us all to look at our travel behaviour.

"We need to look at new ways of persuading people out of their cars and onto more sustainable forms of travel such as trains, buses, walking and cycling.

"These schemes will make a real difference, making transport choices cheaper, healthier, safer and greener."

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