“BORIS Bikes” could soon be making an appearance in Bournemouth.

The council is considering introducing a town wide cycle hire scheme.

Officers are arranging a feasibility study into a local scheme to see how many people will take to two wheels.

Hire schemes have grown in popularity since Mayor Boris Johnson launched a London version in 2010.

People get an electronic key that allows them to unlock bikes from public docking stations.

Costs vary from £1 for one day’s access to £45 for a year’s access. You are charged again to use the bikes – half an hour is free, while one hour costs £1.

There are now hire schemes with their own rules in cities including Cardiff, Newcastle and York.

The Bournemouth plans were discussed at the Tuesday meeting of the Environment and Scrutiny Panel.

Ian Kalra, the council’s transport manager, said a scheme as comprehensive as London’s “wouldn’t be the perfect fit here”.

He said a medium sized plan could take in key locations like the town centre, Bournemouth University, and travel interchange.

“The encouragement of cycling is a key element of the council’s current transport policy,” he said.

“We want to promote cycling to reduce congestion, for leisure, for health improvements and for quality of life.”

The London bikes are purposefully unfashionable and heavy at 23kg to discourage thieves.

Cllr Mike Greene, who used to sit on Camden council, said the London experience showed there was only demand in flat areas.

“If someone has to cycle up Bath Road hill, it doesn’t really flow,” he said. And he said the other key to the London success was a major sponsorship deal with Barclays.

“I seriously have doubts about whether it would be economically viable here because of the recession,” he said.

“But I would be delighted to be proved otherwise.”

Cllr Michael Filer, cabinet member for transport, said: “I support this, but if it’s introduced, let’s get it right.”

The panel agreed to set up a working group to oversee the development of the scheme working locally.