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Left to right: Julian Scriven, Andy Street and cllr Roger Lawrence unveil the new cycle share scheme for the West Midlands

The West Midlands is getting its own bike sharing scheme, which launches later in the year.

The docked bike share scheme, which is operated by Nextbike, will launch in September, with over 2,000 bikes available for hire in Birmingham, Coventry and Wolverhampton. 3,000 more bikes will be rolled out (literally) in Walsall, Sandwell, Dudley and Solihull in 2019.

Annual membership will cost £30, and swift card members will be able to access the bikes as part of their subscription. The bikes have integrated front locks and GPS systems to stop them being stolen. Another deterrent for thieves is the fact that they're kind of hideous. If you've already got a bike then the 'Street Cycles' probably aren't going to tempt you off your regular ride.

For regular cyclists across the city, the bike scheme might not have an immediate impact, other than a sudden increase in the number of really slow, wobbly cyclists on heavy bikes weaving about in front of you on the new cycle path. Getting any meaningful investment in useful, safe and pleasant cycling infrastructure in the region seems to be a painful process, so an increase in people actually out on bicycles can only be a good thing.

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