Remember we told you the council had approved a rather exciting, brand new cycle hire scheme for Liverpool city centre? Well, things are moving forward.

Over the next week, the manufacturers eager to win a place on our city’s streets will be showing off in various places across the centre of town. It’s a chance for us to have a look at what’s available, and see which ones we prefer.

The brands hail from right across Europe: Bicincitta from Italy, Arriva Deutsche Bahn and Nextbike from Germany, and Hourbank/Grand Scheme from here in the UK. But they’re basically all the same, right? Wrong. Each brand’s got a slightly different system in place: from bikes with in-built mobile phone payments, to credit card-enabled fee stations and everything in between, and they all look and feel different.

If you fancy going for a short ride and trying out the bikes themselves and giving feedback, all five companies will be in St Paul’s Square in the Commercial District on Friday 12th July. Until Thursday 10th, and from Monday 15th – Wednesday 17th, you can have a look at a selection of the brands at the junction of Hope Street/Mount Pleasant too.

The Liverpool City Cycle Hire Scheme launches later this year, and will feature bikes at 60 city centre locations.

  • WibbleWobble

    This would be an amazing idea if the city center was actually cyclist friendly. It won’t take long before the first accidents from unsuspecting tourists who are more than likely used to cycle lanes etc start filling the headlines.

  • Baltic Bicycler

    I popped over yesterday, very nice it was too, unfortunately the Bicincitta offering wasn’t available for testing as the reps were too busy having a nice chat.

  • Danielle

    As someone who already cycles in the city, I wonder where they’re expecting these bikes to be used. Cycling on the city roads is difficult enough for someone who does it every day, never mind someone who hops on a hire bike every now and then.

  • MrDave

    I certainly welcome this (just a shame the testing wasn’t done earlier in the year, so that they could be ready for use in the summer, rather than later in the year, when the weather might not be so good!)

    I live in the city centre, in a flat, with no room for cycle storage and I really don’t need a car. This will be ideal for those kinds of journeys that are a little bit more than walking distance, but were using public transport is not really available/viable.

  • Rich

    i cycle in the city, more cyclists about will slow down the cars i reckon. Simply the presence will make it more civil. (minus the bus drivers possibly)

  • Rich

    bit of a chicken and egg situation but one of excitement, cant wait to see them about (having lived in Barcelona and London)

  • http://www.theworkof.co.uk Neil Martin

    This is a fantastic idea. I’ve always wanted the Barclays bike hire system in London to come to Liverpool, since it seems like such a good way to get around and get
    healthier while doing so.

    The downside of course is that in order to jump on a bike, you need to actually get into the city first and getting around the city on a bike is probably harder than it is on foot, with Liverpool being pretty small and compact. The ironic thing is that Liverpool is already so much more environmentally friendly than somewhere like London that walking
    actually makes more sense.

    I think it’d be great if they actually put hiring spots outside of the city centre (think Kirkby, Bootle, Wavertree, Toxteth, the airport etc) so that people could cycle into town and drop them off there, rather than hiring them in the city and dropping them off outside town.

  • Neil

    They’re not just going to be in the city centre, they’re going to be city wide.

  • http://www.theworkof.co.uk Neil Martin

    There’s nothing to suggest that.

  • bornagainst

    I’m pretty sure I’ve seen a map of the ‘station’ locations and they seem to cover quite a bit of the wider city – out to Woolton etc.. Can’t find it online now though.. in fact can’t find many details.

  • bornagainst

    Without introducing any additional infrastructure, then this isn’t a scheme, it’s 1/2 a scheme. Bikes is a good start, but where to cycle them?

    The ‘superhighway’ infrastructure in London is bugger all use really (some poor lass got squashed just the other day), but at least it showed some willing intent, where is the same in Liverpool?

    I cycle Liverpool every day on my commute, so I ask myself, would I recommend to a friend that they jump on one of these hire bikes? I dunno, I really don’t… If they aren’t used to city riding how will they handle cycling on the road round Lime St? The Strand? Smithdown Road? Princes Avenue? Dale st in rush hour – Go on, I dare you to ride Dale St from the Ship n Mitre to the Liver Building..

    Unless they just end up getting rode on the pavement, which just pisses everyone off no end.

    Liverpool is probably no worse than any other UK city, but basically there are no useful, specific cycling facilities at all.

  • gray

    There is if you research the topic instead of just jumping to an assumption. There are proposed points all over the LCC areas of the city.

  • D Hope-Smith

    Each of the bike systems look good. They are much of a muchness, although the British option has more choice for bike formats. Plus, they’re British, so it would be good to support them. Like other readers have commented, a cycle hire scheme is pretty crap without a decent road infrastructure to ride them on. The last thing we need are loads of taxi / bus related fatalities and pedestrians being knocked over by unconfident wibbly wobbly cyclists. Hopefully what will happen is the scheme will prove a success; loads will get used, scallies won’t deface, steal and damage the bikes and the council/DFT will invest in a proper road infrastructure which keeps cyclists, padestrians and buses seperate but moving freely.

    I too commute each day and would love to see more bikes on the road – safety in numbers.

  • http://www.theworkof.co.uk Neil Martin

    Please point me to that information.

  • Mook

    Cycling through Dale Street in rush hr is fun… watch those wing mirrors though!

  • twistedlemons

    what about!

    You MUST NOT cycle on a pavement.
    Laws HA 1835 sect 72 & R(S)A 1984, sect 129