Plans to deliver a “Boris Bikes” style scheme in Aberdeen won’t move forward until at least September, it has been revealed.
Opposition councillors have accused the ruling Labour, Conservative and Independent coalition of a lack of action around delivery of the proposed scheme.
The SNP group said officers have confirmed any decisions on the project will not be taken until after summer at the earliest.
Council chiefs were asked in March to begin work on bringing forward a business case around the introduction of a cycle hire scheme in the city.
Councillor Jackie Dunbar, SNP operations spokeswoman, said: “I’m sure I’ll not be alone in thinking that 18 months to put together a proposal for a scheme to hire a bike is just a little bit excessive, even by the woeful standards set by this administration.
“The reality is that a delay in a proposal coming forward is symptomatic of an administration which has spent the last seven years talking big but consistently failing to deliver.”
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The council’s ruling administration has claimed the proposals have the potential to bring a real “sea change” to transport in the city.
Council co-leader Douglas Lumsden, who first revealed the scheme at last year’s budget, said the move follows the success of similar projects in other UK cities.
The local authority hopes the proposed scheme, coupled with the proposed expansion of electric vehicle car charging points in the city, could reduce emissions and help the council progress its sustainable transport strategy.
Council officers are hoping to finalise a consultancy brief, with a view to hiring a consultant after this.
Once the study is complete, officers expect to report back to committee with the findings and recommendations of how to proceed.
It is understood officers could take inspiration from the dockless hire bikes which launched in London last year.
The bikes can be located and unlocked via a smartphone app and left at the user’s destination, rather than a docking station as is the case with the “Boris Bikes” scheme.
Aberdeen City Council transport spokesman councillor Ross Grant said: “The administration brought forward proposals to develop a cycle hire scheme and we are delighted that our officers are working with the EU to bring about a cycle hire scheme that, importantly, will work for Aberdeen.
“The people of Aberdeen have made clear that they’d welcome a cycle hire scheme for our city centre and it is disappointing that Councillor Dunbar is riding solo in her criticism when the rest of the council is riding in tandem with the aspirations of the council.”