City public bike sharing scheme proposed for Leeds

Leeds City Council’s executive board will discuss a proposal to establish a public bike sharing scheme in the city, with the aim of introducing a scheme by Spring.

Bike share company Ofo have been named as the preferred operator to deliver the scheme in Leeds, having officially launched a public bike-sharing scheme in Sheffield last month, as well as currently managing similar initiatives in Cambridge, Oxford, London and Norwich.

The move is part of the city’s ambition to widen cycling participation in Leeds following the hosting of the successful 2014 Le Grand Départ. The initiative would see a free-flow or dockless bike sharing system introduced, allowing users to download a free mobile phone app to locate and unlock a nearby bike for a competitive fee per half hour.

Richard Lewis, executive member for regeneration, transport and planning, said: “We have been in discussions about a bike hire scheme for some years. Early suggestions all required some form of public subsidy, whilst not providing the quality of bikes needed. Therefore I’m really pleased that we have been able to resolve these issues with this new scheme; providing high quality bikes at no cost to the city. I’ve ridden these bikes myself and I would encourage other non-cyclists to have a go too. This scheme gives people the opportunity to cycle in Leeds without having to splash out on a bike and is a convenient way to travel in our city centre, whether for work or leisure.”