A BIKE-HIRE scheme will be launched across Glasgow in May.

Around 400 bikes will be placed at 31 permanent locations and at a further six areas which will only operate during the Commonwealth Games.

Glasgow City Council has agreed to spend almost £600,000 to fund the scheme for the next three years.

It will be run along similar lines to the Boris Bikes scheme which operates across large parts of London.

The contract to run the Glasgow project was won by German company Nextbike GmbH, which operates 15,000 bikes in 80 cities across 10 countries, including Nurem-berg, Warsaw, Leipzig, Dubai and Christchurch.

City based charity Glasgow Bike Station, which promotes good mental and physical health through cycling as a means of transport, has been appointed to maintain the bikes.

A report from Brian Devlin, the city council's executive director of land and environ-mental services, says his staff are in talks with Glasgow City Marketing Bureau in the hope of using the People Make Glasgow logo on the bikes.

Customers will be able to register as a member or as a casual user through the internet, smartphone or by telephone. Once registered, they are provided with a login username, membership and personal identification number.

Annual subscribers are given a radio frequency identification card which can be swiped over the cycle's on-board computer sensor to speed up the hire process.

Up to four cycles can be hired on one card, which is valid for all Nextbike MACH schemes worldwide.

Annual membership will cost £60 and hire costs are: free for the first 30 minutes and £1 an hour capped at £5 for up to 24 hours.

Hire costs for short-term casual users are likely to be £1 for the first 30 minutes then £2 for one hour, £4 for two hours, £6 for three hours, £8 for four hours and £10 for five hours, capped at £10 for up to 24 hours.

Each bike is protected by a robust chain lock with a four digit code, the saddle has a theft protection fixing and each bike has GPS fitted which will assist in finding any moved illegally.

Council leader Gordon Matheson said: "Glasgow is well on its way to joining the likes of London, Amsterdam and Paris with the introduc-tion of a cycle hire scheme.

"The cycles - and the hiring process - will be easy to use and user friendly.

"The bike hire scheme will both meet the needs of users and go hand-in-hand with the cycling objectives in the council's transport strategy."

Sites where you

can start pedalling

1. Central Station

2. Waterloo Street

3. Queen Street Station

4. Buchanan Street Bus Station

5. Caledonian University

6. George Square

7. Merchant Square

8. St George's Cross

9. Glasgow Cathedral

10. St Enoch Square

11. Argyle Street station

12. Glasgow Green

13. Broomielaw

14. SECC

15. Riverside Museum

16. Botanic Gardens

17. Kelvinbridge Subway

18. Kelvingrove Art Gallery

19. Charing Cross station

20. Glasgow University (west)

21. Partick Interchange

22. Strathclyde University (north)

23. Mitchell Library

24. Glasgow Science Centre

25. Emirates Arena

26. GOMA

27. Trongate

28. Bridge Street Subway

29. Strathclyde University (south)

30. Hillhead underground

31. Glasgow University (east)

Locations during the Commonwealth Games only:


2. Scotstoun Leisure Centre

3. Hampden Park

4. Tollcross Leisure Centre

5. Cathkin Braes Mountain Bike Centre

6. Ibrox Stadium