Paris bike-hire scheme shows London the way forward

The mayor has confirmed May 2010 as the launch date for the London bike-hire scheme.

Planning applications for the docking stations have gone to the boroughs, and a sponsor for the scheme is also being sought.

Showing the vast potential for the scheme here, the Parisian Velib is being extended into the suburbs, adding another 3300 bikes and 300 docking stations.

This will take the number of hire bikes in the Parisian capital to over 23,000 bikes

London's scheme will kick off with 400 docking stations and 6000 bikes.

Velib's demise greatly exaggerated
The expansion in Paris contradicts many British media reports in early 2009, which appeared to show the programme was under threat from vandalism.

It has been suggested that reports of the Paris scheme's problems were exaggerated as part of the bargaining between the Paris authorities and the commercial organisation managing the scheme.

LCC communications officer Mike Cavenett said, "Countries all over the world, like Toronto, Washington DC and Buenos Aires, putting into place their own cycle hire schemes.

"These projects are proven winners, and the negative reports earlier this year have been shown to be a load of hot air."