Chris Boardman backs Liverpool bike hire scheme
Plans to launch a cycle hire scheme in Liverpool are being backed by Olympic and World Champion cyclist Chris Boardman.
The Liverpool City Cycle Hire Scheme will see 1,000 bikes available for hire with 60 stations across the city where they can be returned.
The city council hopes the scheme will be up and running this summer.
Mr Boardman, from Hoylake, Wirral, will help promote the scheme and advise on bikes, hire sites and sponsorship.
The 44-year-old will be employed as a consultant for the council.
He said: "I'll be involved in every stage of the design and implementation of the scheme and I'm looking forward to seeing technology used not only to gain Olympic success but also to improve our every day environment.
"The bicycle is simply a fantastic way to get around, and I'm delighted it's at the heart of the council's transport strategy."
The scheme has been funded using a £1.5m cash boost from the Local Sustainable Transport Fund.
The fund aims to reduce the number of journeys made by car, promote sustainable transport, and reduce congestion and greenhouse gas emissions.
Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: "Chris is an inspiration to cyclists everywhere. He is a British sporting hero, whose achievements at Olympic and World level will always be remembered.
"I'm delighted we have secured such an elite sportsman as champion for our cycle hire scheme."
The council said the self-service bike hire scheme will run 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Cyclists will be able to pay using their mobile phone or cash card - receiving the first 30 minutes free.
It is expected to be launched with 300 bikes in the city centre in the summer and then expanded over the next 18 months.
Chris Boardman won an individual pursuit gold medal at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona and broke the world hour record three times.
He has also won three stages of the Tour de France and has worn the yellow jersey on three separate occasions.
In 1992, he was awarded an MBE for services to British cycling.