Plans to set up a public bike hire scheme in the city have taken a step forward after councillors agreed to a private ownership model.
Councillors on Aberdeen City Council’s city growth and resources committee gave the go-ahead for the scheme, which would be entirely privately financed, when they met at the Town House yesterday.
The next move will be for the council to hold an operators’ day, to gauge interest from private firms before putting the scheme out to market.
Convener of the committee Douglas Lumsden said the council was “another step closer” to seeing its own version of Boris Bikes in the city.
He added: “It’s good to see progress is being made and we’re another step closer to getting a bike hire scheme within the city as we try to encourage more people out of their cars and into more sustainable transport options.”
A report by council officers states there is appetite for the project in the city, and looked at similar ventures running in Edinburgh, Stirling and Dundee.
A total of 32 locations have been suggested 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.
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The report said some of the potential locations are more than five miles from the city centre and may be located too far out to be attractive to many but they were included as they provide integration with key transport hubs, as well as leisure trip attractors including P&J Live and the Formartine and Buchan Way.
Costs for the scheme are estimated at between £384,000 and £640,000 to set up and £153,600 and £256,000 to run.
Operational costs would vary depending on several factors including the scale of the bike hire scheme and the duration of contract, typically from £600 to £1,000 per year, per bike.
The Scottish Household Survey in 2017 revealed 27% of homes in Aberdeen do not have access to a car and 69% do not have access to a bike.
The report said, therefore, a city-wide bike hire scheme would help increase the transport options available for residents.