'Boris bikes' business plan being drawn up for Leicester
Transport bosses say they are drawing up a business case for a Boris bikes-style cycle scheme for Leicester.
The city council said it wanted to encourage people to ride bicycles instead of driving, to tackle congestion.
It carried out a six-month consultation – which ended last month – on the scheme to make bikes available at various points around the city for people to hire or borrow.
Such a scheme has been introduced in London by mayor Boris Johnson.
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The council has not revealed the results of its consultation but said the information would be made public as part of the business case, which could be completed by the end of the year.
Councillor Rory Palmer, deputy city mayor and council transport spokesman, said: "We are producing a business case.
"It is something I would like us to do but it is not near the top of our list of priorities. There are more pressing issues."
Coun Palmer said it could cost the city council £2 million to launch a scheme.
He said: "That would be our contribution and we would need to look for funds from other sources."
Launching a campaign to attract private sponsorship for a scheme was one of mayor Sir Peter Soulsby's 100 pledges on taking office in May last year.
He has also promised the scheme would be up and running within four years.
The London scheme is sponsored by Barclays.
Cycling groups have described the initiative in Leicester as a "vanity project", arguing the city was too small to make it worthwhile.
Cyclist Terry Canning, 53, from Braunstone, said: "It does sound ambitious but what's wrong with having ambitions?
"If there were a good number of bikes available and an incentive to use them, it would reduce the number of cars on the roads, make it safer for cyclists and cut congestion."
Student Annie Bettson, 19, who lives in the city centre, said: "It seems like a lot of money to spend on something people might not use.
"If somebody wants to cycle often they would probably get their own bike rather than hire one, but if it works in other cities it could here."
Eric Ludlow, of The Leicester Cycling Campaign Group, said: "We would look to support any proposal to increase participation in cycling in Leicester.
"But we would caution against simply importing wholesale a bike hire system similar to Paris or London.
"We look forward to seeing the business plan and the results of the consultation."