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'On Our Bikes', says Ken
- TfL to examine feasibility of Paris's bicycle hire scheme for London

KEN LIVINGSTONE has asked Transport for London to examine the feasibility of a city-run bicycle hire scheme for London.

The Mayor has witnessed the introduction of the 'Velib' - Freedom bike in Paris and believes the concept could work here too.

The French scheme offers 10,000 bicycles sited at 750 dedicated hire-points every 300 metres around Paris, with plans for 20,000 bikes at 1,400 hire points by the end of the year. The bikes are available at any time of the day or night and cost just about 70 pence to hire for half an hour.

Theft is said to be minimal because of the unique design of the bicycles, their highly secure parking facilities and because payment is via credit or debit card. If a bicycle is not returned the hirer is charged around UKP100.

"Cycling is a clean, fast and cheap way to get around London and we have seen an 83 per cent increase in cycling since I became Mayor. I have seen the Paris Freedom Bike scheme, and discussed it with the Mayor of Paris. It clearly works and is highly popular" says Ken.

"I have asked transport officials in London to study the Parisian and similar schemes in order to draw up proposals for a scheme which would meet the needs of London. I am sure that we can learn from the success of the Parisian and similar schemes to expand access to cycling in London."

The move is the latest in a series of investments in London's cycle infrastructure. The Mayor and TfL have increased investment in cycling by 50 per cent this year from UKP24 million in 2006/07 to UKP36 million in 2007/08. In 2000 just UKP5.5 was spent on bike projects.

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