‘Boris Bikes’ heading for York

York City Council has confirmed the introduction of a Boris Bike-style cycle hire scheme

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City of York Council has confirmed the introduction of a ‘Boris Bike’ style cycle hire scheme. The scheme will begin in early 2014, the same year as York hosts one of the opening stages of the Tour de France.

It was reported in May that the student unions of the University of York, York St. John and York College were jointly proposing a bid to bring a cycle hire service to York to the NUS, which the Council had already agreed to support. York Council has now confirmed a two-year trial scheme which could start in early 2014.

The scheme is expected to cost around £200,000 to implement, and will see 130 cycles for hire at 38 sites in the city.

The cost of hiring a bike is as yet unknown, with the Council looking for a corporate sponsor to fund the plans.

In London, Barclays have sponsored the bikes since the scheme began in 2010, but the cycles have become more synonymous with the Mayor rather than the company.

Bikes would be available on campus, as well as at shopping centres and park and ride sites, the Council said.

YUSU President, Kallum Taylor, commented: “It’s really great to see this finally confirmed. We placed our full backing behind the idea at the recent Student Community Partnership meeting, alongside the city’s other Students’ Unions, to the City Council. It’ll be a useful addition to York, and something which I think many of our students will make the most of too. We’ll push to ensure that the University has adequate bike stations across each campus.”

According to the 2011 census more than 11,000 of York’s 200,000 residents take a bike to work, but the council hopes the new scheme will increase that figure.

Dave Merrett, the cabinet member for transport, planning and sustainability, said: “There still remains a gap in cycle provision for those living, visiting and working in York who don’t have a bike and require a quick and flexible service to meet a variety of needs.”

In the capital there are more than 8,000 bikes available at over 570 docking stations across central and east London.

Although not on the same scale, there are high hopes for the York scheme which was approved at the council’s cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

On Sunday, York will host the men’s and women’s British Cycling National Circuit Race Championships and next year stage two of the Tour de France is to start from the city, while the tour will begin in Yorkshire.

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