City Bike – the star of Liverpool’s new cycle hire scheme – has been showcased for the first time by cycling legend Chris Boardman MBE.
The Olympic, triple World Champion, and World Record Holder gave business leaders their first glimpse of the bike at a special event at Liverpool Central Library.
Chris – who is champion for the scheme – asked for support in getting the city’s workers on-board at the event, before officially unveiling the sparkling new, branded City Bike.
Joining Chris at the event was scheme operator HourBike Ltd who will lead discussions and presentations on what the bike stations will look like, how they will work, and where they will be located.
The city’s cycle hire team also talked to businesses about sponsorship opportunities and explain the concept and thinking behind the brand. City Bike was chosen by the people of Liverpool as the official name for the scheme, following a public vote.
Chris Boardman said: “I’m was delighted to unveiling City Bike to the people of Liverpool. It’s a really exciting time, as we approach the home straight for the launch of the cycle hire scheme, and with the name and brand of the bike now in place, it’s all systems go!
“I’m keen that we get businesses on-board from the start. Their support in championing cycle hire – and helping us promote cycling as a cheap, healthy and environmentally friendly way of moving around the city – will be key to the success of the scheme.
“I hope this event, and the chance to see the bike for the first time, will further boost the enthusiasm among local firms and help convince them of the huge benefits cycling could bring to their business.
“Liverpool is making really good progress in building cycling and sustainable transport into the everyday life, and setting up a major cycle hire scheme is another step in the right direction. I’m delighted to be part of it. I’ll be sharing my passion for the scheme at every opportunity, to help encourage as many people as possible to get on their bikes.”
Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport and Climate Change, Councillor Tim Moore, said: “It was fantastic welcome Chris back for the unveiling of City Bike. It was a great opportunity for us to showcase to businesses what an exciting scheme this is for the city, and how they can get involved.
“Chris has already done a huge amount of work to help us connect with our businesses universities, tourism managers and schools. I’m delighted he’ll now be stepping up that work again, as we approach the final countdown to the scheme’s launch.
“The people of the city were really enthusiastic in taking part in the vote to name our bike. I hope they will be equally enthusiastic when they see City Bike revealed for the first time.”
Liverpool’s cycle hire scheme launches next month, with an initial 100 bikes at 10 city centre stations. By July, there will be 500 bikes at 50 stations; with 1,000 bikes at more than 100 stations, across the city, by March 2015.
People simply need to pay an annual membership fee which allows them to take a bike from any station, ride it where they like, then take it back to any station, ready for the next person to use. No booking is needed and it’s self-service – just turn up and go. The bikes are best for short journeys – and using them will be free to members to use for the first half hour.
Experienced UK supplier HourBike Ltd will run the scheme – which is set to be the biggest in the UK outside London.
Image: Chris Boardman and Cllr Tim Moore unveil the new City Bike.