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City cycles have been used for 20,000 bike rides

GLASGOW'S rental bicycles have been hired out 20,000 times since they were installed in June, though their use has lost a little pace since the end of the Commonwealth Games.

The self-service bike hire programme enjoyed its busiest period on Monday July 28, the day of the 100 metre finals at Hampden Park, when 702 people took to the streets using the scheme's 400 bicycles.

By the closing weekend of the Games, daily hires fell to about 100, and the £600,000 scheme is now averaging between 260 and 300 trips a day, according to figures from Glasgow City Council. Six temporary hire sites were installed during the Games, in addition to 31 permanent racks.

Some 4,700 people have signed up for £60 annual membership for the Glasgow scheme, allowing them free hire for the first 30 minutes and a maximum £5 daily charge. Casual cyclists can pay £1 for half an hour's hire, capped at £10 per day.

The total number of hires since the bikes entered the city on June 24 was set to pass the 20,000 mark yesterday, having reached 19,896 by the end of Monday, council data suggested.

"The people of Glasgow - and visitors - have clearly embraced the bike scheme," said a spokesman for the council. "Glasgow's is the biggest bike scheme in the UK outside of London and we're confident it will only continue to grow in popularity with user feedback being very positive."

Nextbike, the Germancompany that runs the Mass Automated Cycle Hire (Mach) scheme, operates 15,000 bikes in 80 cities. The firm is rolling out a smaller number of bikes in Stirling.

Edinburgh City Council is examining options for a similar bike hire programme.

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