FRIDAY sees the launch of Ealing's cycle hire scheme. A total of 20 Brompton fold-up bikes will be available to hire 24 hours a day at Haven Green opposite Ealing Broadway Station.

You will have to register online, give your credit card details and pay a membership fee.

Frequent users will be able hire a cycle from  £1.60 per day for a month, plus a yearly membership fee of £50.

A trial rider tariff enables new users the opportunity to try a Brompton bike for £10 for a week.

Cyclists will be able to reserve a bike or bay where they can return the bike, the night before or up to an hour beforehand.

Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for transport and environment, hopes to expand the scheme next year to Greenford and North Acton.

He said: "We hope this encourages local people to take up cycling. Hopefully they will try the bikes and catch the bug and buy a bike themselves."

Ealing Broadway Cycle Hub will also offer secure parking for 123 machines close to Ealing Broadway Station.

Ealing Council leader Julian Bell is aiming to cycle 2,012 miles in 2012 as part of his Olympic ‘get set challenge'. So far, he has cycled more than 1,200 miles.

Councillor Bell said:  “What better way to avoid traffic jams or queues at bus stops – particularly during the Olympics and Paralympics – than cycling?

“This exciting new facility will give cyclists leaving their own bikes there peace of mind and people hiring cycles will be able to fold them up and take them on public transport.”

For more information on the Brompton Cycle Hire scheme visit