A campaign group is urging Aberdeen City Council to improve cycling infrastructure after plans to introduce a bike hire scheme were delayed.
Aberdeen City Council recently approved proposals to create the initiative so residents and visitors could rent bicycles from locations across the city.
But despite being advertised to prospective firms and contractors, the local authority has so far not received any suitable bids from anyone keen to run it.
Now Aberdeen Cycle Forum says the local authority should prioritise improving cycling infrastructure in the city before introducing the scheme.
Campaign secretary Rachel Martin said: “With a couple of exceptions, such as Duthie Park, Deeside Way and the beachfront, our city centre is not currently a very safe or attractive place to cycle.
“Although there are a few safe places to cycle, these are isolated and, crucially, are not joined up.
“It is for this reason we want to see segregated paths built, which will make cyclists feel safer.
“We do support the introduction of a bike hire scheme but improving infrastructure needs to come first.”
The council is looking for an organisation that would be able to offer bikes and docking stations and manage the project for five years.
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A total of 32 locations have been suggested for where people could pick up a bike, including Union Street at the Music Hall, Broad Street, Robert Gordon University, King Street, Duthie Park/Deeside Way and Aberdeen Airport.
However, Rachel worries the proposals could prove unsuccessful due to the challenging road conditions.
She added: “If a hire scheme was implemented and had a low uptake, which we believe is a real risk because of the lack of infrastructure, we are concerned that this could be used to justify lower investment in cycling in future. We want to encourage more people to cycle but to do that we need segregated paths.”
A spokesman for Aberdeen City Council said: “Aberdeen City Council have for many years been improving the active travel network across the city in partnership with Nestrans, the Scottish Government and Sustrans.
“We will continue to do so, having recently undertaken a public consultation exercise to help shape the next priorities in infrastructure improvements via the new Active Travel Action Plan.
“We did receive a number of tender submissions however they did not meet the requirements necessary to allow us to appoint a supplier.
“Alternative options are currently being looked at to take this project forward and re-tendering is one of these options.”