VIDEO: Council plans to get more people moving with extra public hire bikes

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Sheffield Council hopes to get hundreds of people on their bikes by installing new short-term cycle rental stations.

The Sheffieldbycycle scheme was originally set up by the University of Sheffield two years ago.

Similar to London's 'Boris Bikes', it allowed people to borrow a bicycle from one of several docking stations near university buildings.

Although the scheme was aimed at students, it is open to everyone, and the council has recently added two more locations near City Hall and the railway station.

But the council's plan now is to expand the blue bike scheme to allow people to cycle around the whole city centre.

Senior transport planner Paul Sullivan said areas such as Kelham Island were high on the list.

Sheffield Council's senior transport planner Paul Sullivan with the public hire bikes outside the University of Sheffield.

Sheffield Council's senior transport planner Paul Sullivan with the public hire bikes outside the University of Sheffield.

"The university decided to launch their public bike hire scheme a couple of years ago now, and installed six docking stations around campus and halls of residence - basically so students could get around a bit easier and simpler," said Paul.

"It's also proved useful for staff to get into town.

"So on the back of that, we decided as a council to start expanding the scheme."

Mr Sullivan said it was about giving people as many transport options as possible.

People can hire the bikes for free for the first half hour with an annual subscription.

People can hire the bikes for free for the first half hour with an annual subscription.

It's about giving people choice," he said.

"There are quite a few ways to get from the Endcliffe student village down into the city centre, but the bike is probably the most convenient and the quickest."

The council's approach to cycling infrastructure has been criticised by campaigners in the city. But Mr Sullivan said improvements such as the new segregated crossing in Hannover Way would help.

"We are currently working on an updated transport strategy to try to address those issues," he said.

Paul tries one of the bikes.

Paul tries one of the bikes.

"We appreciate the cycling infrastructure could be better and we are planning that.

"It's all funding-related, but we you will see from the segregated crossing that we have put across Hannover Way, that's our starting point. That's a microcosm of what we are going to do on a larger scale."

With a £10 annual membership the first half hour on any bike is free, with the cost rising by £1 an hour after that to a maximum of £5.

Those who do not want to sign up for the year can get five minutes free, and then pay £1 and hour to a maximum £7.

To sign up visit www.sheffieldbicycle.co.uk.

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