A bike hire scheme will be introduced in Watford in the spring as the council tries to encourage drivers off the roads.

Watford has become one of the most congested towns in the region and a simple five minute journey can sometimes turn into a nightmare.

With thousands more homes to be built in Watford and the town inevitably only going to get busier, Watford Borough Council wants to find ways of tackling the all too familiar congestion in the town.

Up to 200 bikes and 100 e-bikes will be stationed at 70 locations around the town, available for hire 24/7 all year round.

Those who want to use the bikes can hire through a smartphone app and rides will then be charged on a per-minute basis, daily, or through a variety of prepaid riding passes.

Anyone over the age of 16 will be eligible to use the bikes.

The council is in particular hoping the scheme appeals to commuters travelling to and via the town's stations, those who want to get from 'a to b', and residents making short journeys.

Mayor Peter Taylor wants to create a more sustainable town and has ambitions of reducing the amount of traffic on the roads, reducing air pollution, and improve the health and fitness of those who live in Watford.

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Photo credit: Simon Jacobs

Mayor of Watford Peter Taylor said: "The bike share scheme is just one part of a major programme of sustainable transport initiatives that we are launching next year to give local people and our business community a range of different options for making small journeys around Watford.

"We know that tackling these could have a huge impact on traffic, parking, and air quality."

London-based urban cycling brand Beryl, which runs existing schemes in Bournemouth, Hereford, and London, has been appointed by the council to deliver the scheme - the first of its type in Hertfordshire.

The scheme is like London's Santander Cycle scheme - formerly known as Boris Bikes after then London mayor Boris Johnson.

Users will need to create an account on the free Beryl app. From the app, you can pay to use the bikes. Currently, a smartphone app will be the only way to get involved in the bike scheme.

If you would like to find out more, email bikeshare@watford.gov.uk