Boris-style bikes for the Black Country backed by Andy Street
A Boris bike-style rental scheme for the Black Country has been given the backing of West Midlands Mayor Andy Street.
Mr Street wants 5,000 ‘street cycles’ placed in Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Coventry city centres.
The bikes could also be placed in Walsall, West Bromwich, Dudley and Merry Hill.
Mr Street is today expected to approve details for the scheme with council leaders at a meeting today. Suppliers will be invited to bid for a five-year contract to run the scheme.
Funding for the scheme would partly come in the way of a commercial sponsor.
It comes after German company Next Bike revealed it wanted to roll out a similar scheme in Wolverhampton.
The system works by bikers using either a smartphone app or by calling a hotline number, collecting the bikes from terminals.
Once registered, people can use the bikes in all Nextbike cities and countries.
Mr Street said: “Everybody is aware of the congestion challenges facing the West Midlands and that we need to take bold and ambitious steps to tackle this.
“The revolution in public transport – with new tram line, railways reopened and improved bus services – are of course important. But we need to do more to supercharge walking and cycling.
“We need to look at new ways of encouraging cycling in our towns and cities and this is one of the ways we are planning to do this.”
The report before today’s meeting lays out what is planned.
It would see between 3,000 to 5,000 bikes rolled out.
And it states that the company would pay for the initial cost of between £1,250 to £2,000 a bike.
A number of operators have already been consulted on the plans, according to the report.
The report adds: “Although the study recognised the benefits of dockless bikeshare systems, these are still in very early development stages in Europe and have implications for streetscape and cycle crime – including cluttering.”