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Clear Channel may bid for London bike hire scheme but wants better cycling facilities

CEO calls for more London cycle paths to make bike-hire scheme a success

Clear Channel, the outdoor advertising company, has contacted to clarify its position on plans for London’s cycle-hire scheme, due to be launched in 2010.

CEO Barry Sayer says his company has now qualified as a potential tenderer, but thinks developments in the capital’s cycling infrastructure will be necessary to make the scheme a success.

Clear Channel would be a strong candidate for the London job as it already operates the successful Bicing cycle-hire project in Barcelona.

Sayer told “I would like to see an improvement made by the City in regard to more dedicated cycle paths in London which has contributed to the success of the scheme in Barcelona. We do believe that the cycle path infrastructure in London will be improved as we progress towards the Olympic Games.”

Yesterday’s story  centred on Transport for London’s denial that plans were under threat because the non-advertising-based model could put off potential operators. JC Decaux, operator of the Parisian Velib scheme, is not in the running, but it looks like Clear Channel might be.

Sayer says: “My position with the funding of bike schemes is that they can be funded from a number of sources, ie. outright subsidy by a council or transport department, branding rights, advertising rights on other street furniture products in compensation for the provision of the bike scheme or revenue generated off a smart card subscription membership arrangement, or any combination thereof."

Sayer says Clear Channel is now going through the tender briefing process after which it will decide whether to tender or not.

Transport for London says the scheme is going to plan and announcements will be made shortly on a high-profile sponsor.

Watch this space.

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