You’ve heard of Boris bikes – now Aberdeen could be getting Barney bikes.
Council civil servants are now preparing a business case around the introduction of a cycle hire scheme in the city.
And town house insiders have already begun naming the project after the current Lord Provost Barney Crockett, akin to London’s naming of their project after its former mayor Boris Johnson.
The cycle sharing scheme could be rolled out in the city following the success of the initiative in England.
The bikes could be located and unlocked through a smartphone app and left at the user’s destination.
Council co-leader Douglas Lumsden said: “Following projects in other UK cities, we have instructed officers to provide a business case around the introduction of a cycle hire scheme with the potential to bring a real sea-change in attitudes to transport in the city.”
A similar scheme was considered for Dundee but was halted in 2016 when councillors were told they had no money to progress with it.
Tayside council said it would cost £1,000 a year per bike just for maintenance.
Glasgow City Council launched a bike-hire scheme in 2014, and has 435 bikes available for hire at 43 train stations.
The projects are also a common feature in cities abroad such as Amsterdam.
George Street and harbour SNP councillor Michael Hutchison said that the money for the scheme, which has not yet been costed, could come from EU funding.
He said: “I’m pleased that the council is finally taking this forward, hopefully learning from the success other cities have seen.
“As a cyclist myself, I think this could be a good way to encourage more people to be active and leave their cars at home.
“When I first asked about cycle schemes in early 2016 there was a hope then that it could be delivered using European funding so I hope we’ve not missed out on that.”
Mr Crockett said: “Aberdeen has one of the highest rates of people cycling of any city in the UK already and this can only be a good addition.
“I imagine the scheme will be given lots of names when it is implemented, I think it is wonderful a few have started calling them Barney Bikes – maybe Crockett cycles next.”