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Council says 20 per cent of docking stations account for 80 per cent of hires as it looks to cut costs

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.

> Chris Boardman helps launch Liverpool's City Bike scheme - urges locals to embrace it

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)

Renshaw Street

Childwall Abbey Road, Childwall

Liverpool Hope Campus, Childwall

Calderstones Park, Yewtree Rd

Calderstones Park Cafe

Tesco, Mather Avenue, Allerton

Lifestyles Alsop, Walton

Lifestyles 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 Boulevard

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 has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.