OXFORD’s “Boris Bike” scheme is to expand to new locations outside Headington for the first time.

Under plans put forward by Oxfordshire County Council, two new bicycle docks would open at Oxford Business Park and Littlemore Mental Health Centre, as well as a third at Warneford Hospital.

It would bring the total number of hire sites from seven to 10 and the number of bikes from 30 to 46.

The move came as the authority revealed just under 400 users had signed up to the Oxonbike service since it was relaunched in June last year.

According to the county council, more than 2,000 journeys have been made with the scheme since last June, which comes to an approximate average of five journeys per member.

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County council cabinet member for transport David Nimmo Smith said the new docks would link Oxford’s two main mental health centres.

The business park site has also been chosen to encourage travel from Thornhill Park and Ride, where there are already bikes.

Mr Nimmo Smith said: “We are linking up all the hospital and university sites so that it is easier for staff to move between them.

“We want this to be the first of many expansions, but we will have to see what impact this has first.”

Other locations that could also be looked at are Oxford University’s Science Area, off South Parks Road, Mr Nimmo Smith said, and more of the city’s park and rides.

He added: “We would like to give people more options.But we would need more money than we have at the moment to do that.”

Cowley county councillor John Sanders said: “It is a very good idea, but the key thing will be whether people use them.”

The Oxonbike scheme has docks at Thornhill Park and Ride, near Bury Knowle Park, the John Radcliffe Hospital, Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, Oxford University’s Old Road campus and Oxford Brookes University’s Gipsy Lane campus.

It was established in June 2013, but the company managing it for the county council, Grand Scheme Bike Share, went into liquidation five months later.

At that stage it had about 500 members, but it did not reopen under a new firm, Hourbike, until June last year.

Simon Hunt, chairman of city cycling campaign group Cyclox, said greater investment was needed in the scheme.

He said: “Our worry has always been that it is on such a small scale that it cannot prove itself.

“I am glad to hear it is expanding, but what it really needs is a funding boost.”

The scheme is funded by the Government’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund.

The expansion is being paid for by business travel grants, also from the sustainable transport fund, the county council said.

Currently the council said funding for the bike scheme was set to dry up by June this year, but a £36,713 underspend elsewhere is to be used to keep it going until at least March next year.

People who want to use the bikes can sign up online and are given a membership number and pin number, which are used to take bikes from the docks.