Londoners are getting into the saddle following the launch of the city’s first major bike hire scheme.
Already dubbed Boris bikes, the pedal project was unveiled by the British capital’s larger than life mayor.
Critics have warned the Thames will be awash with vandalised two wheelers, but Johnson has defended his brainchild.
He said: “I believe that this cycling revolution will help to tackle all sorts of problems of society: pollution; it will help to get us fitter, it will help to tackle the scourge of obesity, or ‘big society’ as it’s sometimes confusingly known.”
The scheme, which follows similar projects in France and Spain aims to ease congestion on London’s busy streets. It has received a mixed response.
“I think anything that’s going to stop people driving, that’s kind of an easy way of getting point-to-point without necessarily having to go underground or wait for a bus. It’s quick, it’s on demand, they seem to have docking stations all over the place so yeah, it’s a good set-up,” one man said.
“I do think bikes are dangerous because a lot of people get killed in London riding bikes, but if you can, if you’re a good bike rider, experienced and safe, then it’s a good idea,” added another man.
So far, some 12,000 ‘‘pioneer members’‘ have signed up to use the bikes, in the scheme’s first trial month.