Many countries have already introduced similar schemes. The best known of these is Velib in Paris, which has over 20,000 cycles for hire.
"We've been looking at these other schemes to help us plan ours. It's clear that a good cycle hire scheme changes a city for the better, as well as people's perception of cycling. We also know that convenient and fast access to a bicycle is important for users".
Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, considers the scheme to be one of his top transport priorities. He said, "This will provide a genuinely sustainable alternative to the car and encourage more Londoners to cycle".