People will be able to hop on a bike for short trips across Hackney with a new bike hire scheme designed to encourage greener transport.

Hackney Council is signing a two-year deal with a company to run a dockless bike hire scheme, with an option to extend the contract.

The firm already runs a similar scheme elsewhere in London.

There will be at least 200 bikes for people to hire, increasing to 325 by the second year of the scheme.

Bikes can only be left in designated bays, to prevent them being abandoned on the streets. There are currently 64 “corrals” where bikes can park and that number is likely to expand to 120.

The council hopes that 15 per cent of all journeys in Hackney will be by bike by 2025.

The hire scheme is part of an effort to encourage motorists to leave their cars at home for short journeys.

Tyler Linton, Hackney Council’s manager for sustainable Streetscene transport, said: “This has been promoted as a scheme that provides a service for occasional use for short journeys.”

He added: “We know that residents want this service and it can provide a useful service for certain types of journeys.”

The Town Hall trialled a bike hire scheme in 2019 with two companies and used vacant car parking spaces for the bikes to avoid clutter and trip hazards on pavements.

The 12-year-old Transport for London bike hire scheme only runs in the south of the borough and the council wants people to get on their bike in north and east Hackney too.

Just two out of seven interested firms submitted bids in the latest tender for the contract, which could be worth at least £2m.

The cabinet procurement and outsourcing committee approved the preferred bidder this week – with details of the full contract set out in private papers.

The scheme will be funded by the bike hire firm and it will face £80 fines if abandoned bikes are not returned to the corrals within an hour.

It will pay Hackney council an annual fee of £5,000 and will have to provide monthly reports to find out who is using the bikes and their average length of journey and fare.

Money will also be used to promote cycling and training.

Hackney Council ruled out running its own bike hire scheme or a partnership.