‘Boris bikes’ a possibility

Boris Johnson on a London public hire bike. INNT 34-605con
Boris Johnson on a London public hire bike. INNT 34-605con

THE FAMOUS London ‘Boris Bikes’ could make an appearance on the streets of Newtownabbey, the council has revealed.

Councillors approved the adoption of a Bike to Work scheme for council employees at last week’s August 13 meeting. The scheme allows employees to purchase a bike at a discounted rate from local suppliers and they can pay off the cost through their wages.

During a discussion of the scheme at the council meeting, Councillor Lynn Frazer asked if Newtownabbey Borough Council would be adopting a public-hire bike scheme similar to one in London.

In the English capital the famous ‘Boris Bikes’ allow people to hire bicycles at a low cost and return them at various stands across the city.

They have been made famous by the affable Mayor of London Boris Johnson, who has a passion for cycling.

And earlier this month, Belfast council approved a scheme which will see 300 bikes placed at 30 stands across the city.

Speaking in the meeting this month, Newtownabbey council chief executive Jacqui Dixon said: “There are a number of pilot schemes planned by the Department of Regional Development and with the location of Newtownabbey and our proximity to the city we would make our interest known should the opportunity arise for a similar scheme here.”

Councillor Billy Webb added: “It should also be pointed out that we were the first in Northern Ireland to introduce public-hire bikes both here [at Mossley Mill] and at Hazelbank.

“It’s just I saw all the reports of Belfast saying about how the cycle scheme was the first of its kind in Northern Ireland when, in fact, it wasn’t.”