OXFORD could be in line to get yet another dockless bike franchise – but this one should only cause half the trouble of its predecessors.

The LOFO dockless unicycle firm has applied for permission to offer its one-wheeled cycles for rent in the city – trading alongside the two-wheeled varieties already on offer, including the likes of Ofo, Pony Bikes and Mobike.

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If successful, the sight of unicyclists travelling – and potentially falling – around the city could become a real prospect.

A spokesman for LOFO said they had become aware of the gap in the market after spotting a unicyclist regularly travelling into the city from the Botley Interchange.

"The fact that no-one batted an eyelid at this strange sight made us realise that if any city in the country could handle unicycle hire, it had to be Oxford," he said.

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"Using a unicycle is surprisingly easy," he claimed. "Anyone can pick it up in a matter of months, as long as they are willing to put in a few hours practice every day.

"I can see this being a real hit, particularly with the student population. Imagine the fun these young undergraduates will have racing each other home on unicycles after a night out drinking!"

The scheme will work in a similar way to the existing dockless bike schemes, with users downloading an app enabling them to use the unicycles when they need them and drop them off wherever they want – in the street, park, or river – to be collected later.

The spokesman added: "Having seen the problems the other companies have had with people chucking their bikes in the rivers, we have come up with an ingenious solution – our unicycles floats, so our staff will be able to collect them using big nets."

Pedestrian safety groups have voiced their concerns at the plans – fearing inexperienced riders will be a recipe for disaster in the busy city centre.

"What are they thinking?" asked Clive Jobsworth, chairman of the Walkers Against Stumbles. "This will turn the city centre into a circus. What next – trapezes across Queen Street?"

A council spokesman said the unicycle application would be treated with the seriousness it deserved as long as it was submitted by the April 1 deadline.