Plans for cycle hire scheme in Henley-on-Thames

Henley-on-Thames It is hoped the cycle scheme will link Henley and Shiplake

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An Oxfordshire businessman is hoping to introduce a bike rental scheme in Henley-on-Thames.

Pete Smith, who heads not-for-profit organisation the Henley Partnership, wants to create a bike trail between Shiplake and Henley.

The scheme would need approval from South Oxfordshire District Council and would be funded by corporate sponsors.

Mr Smith said he hoped the bike scheme would be up and running by spring and would "bring communities together".

The Henley Partnership is an organisation which aims to bring together local authorities, businesses and arts groups to improve Henley.

'Attractive to corporates'

Mr Smith said the success of the London cycle hire scheme made him confident he could succeed in bringing a similar bike rental scheme to Oxfordshire and Berkshire.

"The great thing is, we've got precedent, we know how it's done and it's very attractive to corporates," he said.

"It's connecting up communities. We could get Shiplake, Wargrave and Twyford connected.

"I think it's something we could open up in the spring time for the Olympics."

Start Quote

It's connecting up communities. We could get Shiplake, Wargrave and Twyford connected”

End Quote Pete Smith Henley Partnership

South Oxfordshire Council said it was interested in the scheme and would like to know how much community interest there was in the project from businesses and people in the area.

In a statement, the council said: "If the scheme is to become a reality, significant financial support would be needed from business.

"There is some money allocated in the Henley Market Town Action Plan for signage and promotion.

"If the bike hire scheme does become a reality then the money could help to promote cycle routes around the town."

Mr Smith also hopes to get corporate sponsorship for the cycle hire scheme.

Mr Smith said his experience as a worldwide event co-ordinator for the first Live Aid concert gave him the confidence to persevere with the project.

He worked with concert promoter Harvey Goldsmith and the Band Aid Charitable Trust, helping to organise the charity event in 1985.

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