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43 locations will more than double to 93

Glasgow is planning to extend its cycle hire scheme to more than double the number of places bikes are available to rent.

Currently Glaswegians and visitors are able to borrow a ride at 43 locations across the city, and now councillors plan to extend that by another 51.

Plans will now be put into action to allow docking stations at Anderston station, City of Glasgow College, Scotstoun Stadium and Mount Florida railway station, among others.

Current locations include Central Station, the Botanic Gardens, the SECC and Gorbals Leisure Centre.

Since 2013 the bikes have proved popular - the original three year project cost £586,000 and featured 400 bikes.

As of July 24 this year there had been 206,109 rentals and 14,080 registrations.

A report going before councillors on Wednesday states: "It is evident from the rental figures that the initial MACH scheme has been a resounding success and that the city has the capacity and appetite to expand the bike hire scheme to other areas of Glasgow,” according to Glasgow Live.

If approved, a contractor will be needed and the additional bikes could be in place by summer 2017.

Glasgow has been a far bigger success than Cardiff, where this year we reported how city bosses were set to resurrect their cycle hire scheme originally launched in 2009 but found to be a flop.

Council transport bosses want a London-style sponsored bike hire scheme for locals and visitors to use.

Back in 2009 we reported how the Smart bike scheme in was launched throughout the city centre, Cathays and Cardiff Bay after a review of cycling in the city.

A commercial venture by OYBike saw blocks of bikes stationed in and around the city centre and once a bike was finished with it could be returned to any of the available stands.
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75 bikes were installed in 10 stands in all, but was shortlived - partly because it wasn't rolled out to the planned 35 docking stations.

The Cardiff scheme ended on 23 December 2011 with OYBike citing a lack of ongoing sponsorship.

This was despite the first 30 minutes of any ride being free, in order to encourage users. Only 5 per cent of users were repeat customers. The whole day cost was £5.

Now an operator is being sought to provide 500 bikes located at key points around the city close to public transport.

A spokesman told Wales Online that all costs would be borne by the sponsor and operator.

"The aspiration of the new scheme intends to be far larger that the initial pilot scheme back in 2011, with 500 self-service bikes located across the authority area," he said.
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"These will be based at a number of sites including strategic locations close to existing public transport facilities.”

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.