Northern Ireland

Wheels set in motion for Belfast cyle hire

Bicycle scheme

The wheels have been set in motion for a new cycle hire scheme for Belfast.

Transport Minister Conor Murphy said he would love to see Belfast become one of the top 10 cycling cities in the British Isles.

He was speaking as the brakes were released on a new project at a cycling conference - Belfast Cycle City: Visions for the Future - organised by Friends of the Earth.

The City Council, the Strategic Investment Board and the Department for Regional Development will work together on options for a public hire bike scheme, Mr Murphy said.

"I have asked the recently established Active Travel Forum to explore the recommendations of the 2020 Vision Report in detail, as part of its work to present recommendations to me for an Active Travel Strategy for the north," Mr Murphy said.

Thousands of public cycles are already available for use in European cities, including Amsterdam, Paris and Dublin.

They offer a fresh, 'greener' way to visit cities.

On Friday, banking giant Barclays said it would be the £25m sponsor of the Mayor of London's bicycle hire scheme.