Liverpool City Council is to remove around one in four of the docking stations belonging to its Citybike bike-sharing programme, saying that they are not being used enough.
The 33 docking stations in question each see an average of less than one hire a day, according to the council, which is looking to save £100,000 after bringing the scheme, originally operated by Hourbike, in-house in August.
It has said that it is looking to expand the scheme to other parts of the city, as well as finding a corporate sponsor.
According to the council, 80 per cent of the hires made under the scheme are done via just 20 per cent of the 120 docking stations.
By removing those which see fewer than 25 hires each month, the council says it will save the annual cost of repair and maintenance on them.
The council's cabinet member for highways, Councillor Steve Munby, said: “Citybike has been a huge success in terms of the number of people using the cycles to get around Liverpool, evidenced by the number of people we see riding around on them, particularly in the city centre.
“But there is a fine balance between making the scheme attractive and affordable to users, against the ongoing costs of maintenance of the bikes and the docking stations and that is why, in common with other local authorities that run bike hire schemes, we have had to subsidise it.
“We know the scheme brings huge benefits and that people use them to get to work or for leisure and that they are great for tourists to explore our city so we are committed to its future and are looking at ideas to expand it, such as to neighbouring boroughs.”
The number of bikes available under the scheme will remain unchanged at 1,000 as they are distributed around other docking stations.
The Citybike scheme -- the name was chosen after the public were asked to put forward suggestions, with Scouse Cycles a popular choice - was launched in March 2014 by world and Olympic champion turned cycling campaigner Chris Boardman, who lives across the Mersey on the Wirral.
To date, around 300,000 hires have been made with the bikes clocking up a combined 1.4 million miles and the council says that year-on-year usage is increasing.
The complete list of the 33 locations from which docking stations are being removed is:
ASDA Hunts Cross
Hillfoot Avenue, Hunts Cross
Woodend Avenue, Hunts Cross
Brownlow Hill West (next to the multistorey car park)
Lime Street Station (at Skelhorne Street/Copperas Hill)
Childwall Abbey Road, Childwall
Liverpool Hope Campus, Childwall
Calderstones Park, Yewtree Rd
Calderstones Park Cafe
Tesco, Mather Avenue, Allerton
Lifestyles Alsop, Walton
Lowestoft Drive, Cressington
Everton Road Hostel
Liverpool John Moores, Byrom Street, Everton
Mere Lane Health Centre, Everton
Gardner’s Drive, Kensington
Kirkdale Railway Station
Silvester Street, Kirkdale
The Rotunda, Kirkdale
Lifestyles Ellergreen, Norris Green
Tesco, Old Swan
Estuary Boulevard, Speke
Estuary Business Park, Speke
Speke Retail Park
Speke Road, Garston
Speke Road Matchworks
Speke Road – New Mersey Shopping Park
Lifestyles Peter Lloyd, Tuebrook
Newsham Park, Gardner’s Drive
Picton Clock, Wavertree
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.