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Get pedalling: Belfast's new city bikes are wheeled out

By Amanda Ferguson

Published 18/04/2015

Councillor Aileen Graham and Ross McGill of Sustrans on Belfast’s new city bikes
Councillor Aileen Graham and Ross McGill of Sustrans on Belfast’s new city bikes
Belfast bikes: one of the pick-up points

Every turn of the wheel is a revolution, according to the mural of a bicycle on the side of the John Hewitt pub in Belfast.

Now Northern Ireland is poised to join the cycling revolution, with the new Belfast Bikes being spotted in the city centre ahead of the public share scheme's launch later this month.

Yesterday groups of cyclists were wheeling along the streets with project organisers keen to highlight the benefits of this healthy, low-cost travel option.

Following on from similar projects in Dublin and London, so far around 1,000 people have registered to take part when the scheme goes live on Monday, April 27.

Some 300 bicycles will be available to hire from 30 docking stations dotted all over Belfast.

It costs £20 to register as an annual member or you can pay £5 for a three-day membership, aimed at tourists and other visitors to the city.

The first 30 minutes of any hire are free of charge and then there are small incremental charges from as little as 50p for half an hour.

DUP representative Aileen Graham was one of the Belfast city councillors given on-road cycle training by Sustrans yesterday. The environmental transport charity showed Aileen and other enthusiasts how to safely negotiate their way through the streets of the city.

A Belfast Bikes spokeswoman said there has been an excellent response to the project from the public so far.

"There is huge excitement in Belfast for the arrival of the Coca Cola Zero Belfast Bikes," she added.

"Belfast is joining the cycling revolution and will fit alongside other major European and international cities where the scheme has proved really popular."

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